Now that summer is here and Canadians are dusting off their grills, you’ve probably noticed something amiss at your local grocery store — the sky-high price of beef.
It’s not in your head; that steak definitely didn’t cost you as much last year as it does this year. In fact, since 2011, you’d be shocked to know how much more expensive some meat has become:
- Sirloin steak costs have increased 40 per cent
- Ground beef a shocking 53 per cent
- Hot dogs are up by around 30 per cent
We admit we aren’t economists here at The Loop, but those numbers seem to outpace inflation by just a tad. So what’s the deal with the price surge?
Well, for one, demand for beef is up because of the summer barbecue season. But the spike in prices can also be credited to the outbreak of mad cow disease in 2003. At the time, the disease crippled demand for Canadian beef around the world, and supply dropped by about a third as farmers began leaving the business. But as years passed and consumer confidence started to grow again, supply never caught up.
“In 2004, Canada produced 3.6 million head of cattle, in 2014 that’s 2.6 million,” Ashton Glen Farm’s David Smith told CTV News. “That’s a huge decrease.”
Despite the return of beef’s profitability, don’t expect to see a decline in prices just yet. Many farmers are still hesitant to start up a beef operation because they still think it’s risky, plus it requires a large initial investment.
Our advice? Stock up now before things get even worse. Or read our guide on cooking with less-expensive cuts of meat.