Lack of laborers causing meat supply issues | News


CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) — You may have noticed the price of meat has gone up or certain meats are hard to find.

“I want to have product to sell to the restaurants and the colleges that want to order it from me and if I don’t have it, I can’t sell it to them,” said Larry Katz, owner of Arnold’s Meats.

Katz told Western Mass News how difficult a current meat shortage is on his business. One meat specifically harder to get is turkey, which could impact the upcoming holiday season.

“We deal with about five different companies for turkeys. They’ve already wanted our orders for this coming Thanksgiving and as long as we place them now, we shouldn’t have a problem,” Katz noted.

One of the popular items are chicken thighs. They’re also one of the harder items to find and when they’re on the shelves, they go quickly.

“On items that people have to remanufacture, like cut frozen chicken breast and things that take a lot of labor because they don’t have the help,” Katz explained.

Katz said food manufacturers are having trouble finding employees like many other industries. He broke down some of the current price differences.

“A boneless prime rib, they’ve gone up a dollar a pound from last year. If you take tenderloins, they’ve gone up close to five dollars a pound. In one week, they went up five dollars a pound a year ago,” Katz explained.

Katz said the shortages and higher prices do not mean there’s a supply issue. “It’s all labor. It’s not that they don’t have the product. They don’t have the people to manufacture the product,” he added.

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