Food News Today Transcripts for the week of July 30th, 2012

August 03, 2012

Meat goes local, food prices are higher – except for one important category, and how to create consumer demand.

 >The eat-local and locale movement concentrates mainly on fruits, vegetables and seafood, and less so on meats and other animal-based products. That’s because cattle, swine, sheep and goats that are raised on local ranches and farms have typically been processed in large-scale commercial slaughterhouses, perhaps hundreds of miles away. four corporations slaughter about 80% of the nation’s cattle. What about more local meat processors? Introducing the mobile slaughter houses which allow small- and mid-sized livestock producers to avoid trucking their animals long distances to access the few remaining USDA-inspected facilities, while maintaining the unique identity and quality of their farm products. The movement is strong in New York, Vermont and Washington State - and these communities and their ranchers are attempting to “put the local back in local meat.”  Willard Wolf, the president of Cattle Producers of Washington, says  “The whole idea is to have quality control and humane processing for local meat that provide consumers in the state with the locally produced products they are demanding. Having a producer-owned plant will help keep dollars, ranchers and farmers in our communities.” 

>After a prolonged recession, shoppers, wiser and thriftier in their shopping behaviors, have adapted to the sluggish economy. Although they are feeling more optimistic about the economic future, shoppers are still budget- conscious, and higher gas prices have compounded the problem. I interviewed Carrie Shea, CEO of AMG Strategic Advisors on their report, The Why? Behind The Buy. Breaking Through The Demand Creation Challenge 

Thanks Carrie!

>For most food categories and for food at home in general, prices in the first quarter of 2012 were 4.5% higher than they were a year ago according to the USDA.  Leading the increases were Fats and oils prices - 11.3 percent higher, and beef prices were 8.5 percent higher. The good news is the warm winter and favorable growing conditions resulted in a year-over-year decrease in produce prices for the first quarter of 2012, with fruit prices down 1.1 percent and vegetable prices down 7.4 percent. Perhaps mother nature has joined the first lady's lets move and dietary guidelines programs

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