Pork prices could spike 50% thanks to a new animal-welfare law that says pigs must have more space, one of the US’ biggest producers says

Christensen Farms’ CEO said that a new pig-farming law in California could lead to soaring pork prices.
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US pork prices could spike 50% due to a new California animal-welfare law, a pork producer CEO said.
The law means farmers in California, or who sell to California, must give breeding pigs more space.
Christensen Farms’ CEO said it could cost the industry "hundreds of millions of dollars" to comply.
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The CEO of one of the biggest pork producers in the US says a new pig-farming law in California could lead to pork prices rising by up to 50%.
The animal-welfare law, set to come into effect next year, requires farmers to give more space to egg-laying chickens, veal calves, and breeding pigs. AP reported that only 4% of pig-farming operations currently comply with the new rules, and that as a result, California is expected to lose almost all of its pork supply unless courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold.
The law also applies to producers who sell to California from other states, Insider’s Hilary Brueck reported.
The National Pork Producers Council has asked the US Department of Agriculture for federal help to cover some of the costs of retrofitting pig-farming facilities, the publication reported. Glenn Stolt, CEO of Christensen Farms, told Fox Business on Monday that the law would cost the industry "hundreds of millions of dollars for what really will not, in our opinion, do anything to improve animal welfare, to certainly improve environmental stewardship, worker safety, as well as food safety."
The result would be higher pork prices, he said. "We would estimate that you could see initial prices up as high as 30% to 50%."
Stolt told Fox Business that his farms wouldn’t be able to sell pork in California anymore because "we are not currently set up to meet the requirements as of January 1."
Barry Goodwin, an economist at North Carolina State University, told AP that a farm with 1,000 breeding pigs would expect to pay around 15% more per animal under the new rules.
Read more: This startup wants to end lab-grown meat’s reliance on cow fetal blood. Get an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to raise $2.1 million.
California, the US’ most populous state, consumes much more pork than it produces. Rabobank, a global food and agriculture financial services company, said that California’s restaurants and groceries use about 255 million pounds of pork a month – roughly 15% of all pork consumed in the country. Its farms produce about 45 million pounds, AP reported.
The California Restaurant Association told AP that it too was "very concerned" about potential pork supply problems and subsequent cost increases.
More than 60% of California voters said yes to the Farm Animal Confinement Proposition in 2018. It was supported by animal-rights activists, such as the Humane Society of the US, which sponsored the proposition.
Read the original article on Business Insider

Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/pork-prices-california-animal-welfare-pig-farming-law-christensen-farms-2021-8

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