Get ready for pork and chicken to become luxury items.
Pork and chicken will join beef on the menu of expensive meats as drought and US ethanol policy combine in a corn “disaster”, the head of the world’s largest pork producer has said, FT reports.
The cost of the main ingredients in animal feed, corn and soyameal, have set records this month as the worst drought in half a century and extreme heat damages crops in the US, the world’s main surplus producer.
“Beef is simply going to be too expensive to eat. Pork is not going to be too far behind. Chicken is catching up fast,” said Larry Pope, chief executive of Smithfield Foods.
“I’ll use the word catastrophe – that’s my definition,” Pope told FT in an interview.
Pope warned US meat prices will rise by “significant double digits,”
Making matters worse is US government regulations. The US Department of Agriculture estimates almost 40 per cent of the US corn crop is consumed by ethanol refineries.
“It’s almost a government-mandated disaster here, which is distressing,” Pope said.