New Brunswick

Meat farmers say 2014 'year to remember' after jump in prices

After several difficult years, meat farmers in New Brunswick say things are finally looking up.

Beef and pork prices nearly doubled, says National Farmers Union in New Brunswick

Meat farmers in New Brunswick say 2014 has been a good year for them after beef and pork prices nearly doubled.

"I think it's the year to remember," said Jean-Eudes Chiasson, president of the National Farms Union in the province.

Beef and pork prices nearly doubled in 2014, says the president of the National Farmers Union in New Brunswick. (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)
Cattle farmers are now getting up to $2.50 per kilogram, about $1 more than what they saw in 2013, said Chiasson.

He attributes this year's rise in price in part to a drop in production, stemming back to the so-called mad cow crisis in 2003.

"There's a lot less beef farmers in New Brunswick and also in Ontario and Quebec. The age of farmers is getting older, a lot of people are retiring. So at some point, a shortage was created."

The market for local products is also growing, said Chiasson.

"There's a lot of good things happening — people are a lot more aware, they want to know where their food comes from," he said.

"Small markets where I sell my hogs in Sussex are flourishing. The increase in farmers markets has been really substantial in the past 10 years."

Hossein Barrar, who owns Dolma Food in Moncton and sells local meats, says he's glad to see the prices starting to work for farmers  even if it means he's paying double what he used to.

"I don't like to pay more for anything. Only the thing is, we have to support the farmers to be able to have a local product. And for first year in the last four or five years, I can see farmers able to at least survive," said Barrar.

Chiasson says it's only a matter of time before the high cost meat is passed on to consumers.

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