Meat shortage prompts price hike


COLORADO SPRINGS — The coronavirus pandemic has caused meat shortages across the country and some restaurants here in Colorado Springs are being forced to raise their meat prices to pay the bills.

We’re seeing shutdowns at meat plants nationwide due to COVID-19 outbreaks. In Colorado, it happened at the JBS plant in Greeley and we’re seeing the ripple effects.

For local suppliers though, the effect of the coronavirus pandemic has looked a lot different.

Todd Inglee the Executive Director for Colorado Beef Council told FOX21 that while the COVID-19 crisis has really disrupted the food supply chain he’s confident it will return to full force.

“You’ll start to see even additional ripples throughout the food chain supply but we expect those to be short-lived, just a temporary reaction to what has happened over the past eight or nine weeks,” Inglee said.

For local suppliers, though the effect of the coronavirus pandemic has looked a lot different.

“When it first came out we were up almost four times our normal business and now we’re about double what we would normally do compared to a year ago before the coronavirus problem,” said the owner of Ranch Foods Direct.

Mike Callicrate owns Ranch Foods Direct and he says the difference is where the meat originates, and Ranch Foods isn’t dependent on outside global supply.

“So we have our own animals. We process them on-site where they are so they don’t have to travel a long distance to be processed, and then that meat is brought into this facility that we are standing in here in Colorado Springs for further processing,” Callicrate says.

When COVID-19 first surfaced, Callicrate said they were up almost four times their normal business and even now they’re selling about twice what they were this time last year enough, he says that they’ve needed to hire additional staff.

Cerberus Brewing Company just west of downtown is known for specialty drinks and their famous brisket grilled cheese. They told FOX21 on Tuesday that due to a shortage of meat plus a price hike they’ve had to raise their prices to avoid cutting customer favorites from the menu.

Danny Anderson a head cook for Cerberus says, “[The] actual shortage is just now starting to hit so we’ve had to order extra things over time and raise prices a little bit here and there to be able to keep up with the actual cost of the food coming in.”

If this trend continues you may start to see meat items dropping from menus all across Colorado.

“If this goes, if this continues to go for longer and longer the harder it is going to be to get food and be able to put it on the menu. It’s just the way it’s going and the way it looks right now,” said Anderson.

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