Britain’s meat industry is facing huge price rises due to increased demand and production cost pressures. Read on to see more detail about chicken, pork and beef.
Meat prices are continuing to rise, and it doesn't look like they will go down any time soon. The war in Ukraine has caused much economic instability, with the rise in feed costs massively impacting farmers and, subsequently, meat processors. The prices of pork, beef and poultry have all increased as a result. So what can those in the foodservice sector expect in the coming months? Read on to find out.
CHICKEN - The UK's most popular meat price has risen faster than any other protein. Chicken prices have increased by 37% since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This rise is primarily due to low supplies from avian influenza outbreaks, removing volume from the market. However, the cost of animal feed has also surged, which is the main cost component for poultry producers. The ingredients that go into chicken feed include soya, sunflower meal (a byproduct of sunflower oil) and wheat, all of which have massively risen in price. And as Ukraine and Russia are major sunflower oil and wheat producers, the ongoing conflict is driving up prices.
Chicken's relative affordability has helped make it the country's meat of choice. However, some leading retailers are now warning that it could soon be as expensive as beef. This prediction is terrible news for those who have relied on chicken as a cheap source of protein, particularly as the cost of living crisis begins to squeeze household budgets.
PORK - Pork prices in Europe have spiked following the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Livestock supplies were already low going into the spring. Prolonged low-profit margins, export restrictions in 2021, and labour shortages forced farmers to send pigs to slaughter early or exit the market altogether.
Demand is now seasonably high as we enter the BBQ season. However, rising overheads continue to limit the supply side of the market. For farmers, feed represents 39% of production costs, while slaughterhouses struggle to manage increasing prices for electricity and gas. The conflict in Ukraine has also disrupted transportation routes, making it difficult for farmers to get their products to market. As a result, consumers are facing higher pork prices when they are traditionally buying more of the product.
BEEF - Spot prices for cattle have been rising since January 21 and are now up over 60%. This increase is due to various factors, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, which has led to a sharp rise in feed costs. As a result, many farmers sent their cows to slaughter at lower carcass weights over Winter, as they could no longer afford the rearing fees. It's forecast that EU beef production will decline by 1% in 2022 due to these squeezed margins. However, it is essential to note that producers are not the only ones affected by these rising costs. Consumers will also feel the pinch as the price of beef increases.
Unfortunately, as we enter the summer barbeque season and the demand for beef increases, prices will likely inflate further.
If you're worried about how these increased costs will impact your F&B budget, speak to your butcher or wholesaler – they may have some tips or suggestions on how to keep costs down. But, of course, if you're looking for a new butchery partner, no need to worry; our team at Beacon will talk you through the options available. With a little bit of planning, we can help keep meat on your menu without breaking the bank. Complete our contact form or drop us a message on live chat.