Prices of bacon and other pork products are increasing on P.E.I. and across Canada.
Costs have been rising because hog producers are getting more for their product. In response, grocery and convenience stores have passed along the increase to consumers.
Norman Sahely, who runs Brighton Clover Farm in Charlottetown, had to raise his bacon prices to $5.95 for a package of Maple Leaf. He usually would sell it for under $4.
"One lady noticed, 'That much for a pound of bacon?'" Sahely told CBC News Friday. "I said, 'Yes. I'm sorry to say that. Yes.'"
Sahely said he feels bad customers have to pay so much, and he worries sales might decrease as a result.
"You feel guilty overcharging them, but we have no choice when they're charging us. We have to carry on because of our expenses."
Hog prices for farmers have increased from $1.60 to $1.80 a kilogram in the last couple of weeks. The main reason is high demand for pork bellies, used to make bacon.
While bacon has taken the biggest jump, items like pork chops and roasts are also increasing slightly.
Farmers say increase overdue
Hog farmer Scott Dingwell said the increase is needed.
"Really we're coming off a stretch of 3½ to four years of markedly depressed prices," Dingwell said.
He said despite the higher prices, producers aren't yet making profits.
"The only thing that's increased faster than the price of hogs has been the price of our inputs, and our major input is the price that we pay for feed," he explained.
The Riverview Country Market, which is owned by farmers, is happy to see prices finally on the rise — even if it means the market must charge more.
The market sells P.E.I. pork and smokes its own bacon.
"If we have to buy the animal, and it's going to be a little more expensive, we're going to obviously have to look at our numbers, our prices," said part-owner Sharon Wolters.
Wolters used to be a pork producer but stopped because she was losing money. She said the price increase is long overdue.
"People will be willing, I'm hoping, to pay that increase, knowing that they're supporting the Island farmer."
The global market estimates prices could peak at about $2 a kilogram or more for hogs by the end of the summer.