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Store in southern Alberta accuses meat plants of price gouging

Meat store in southern Alberta alleges Cargill, JBS and Bouvre of price gouging
WATCH: A meat store in southern Alberta is sounding the alarm on drastic price increases for beef. Taz Dhaliwal finds out what one meat-processing plant has to say about allegations of price gouging.

You may have heard about price gouging when it comes to the sale of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and now similar allegations are being made regarding price increases for beef.

Meadow Creek Sausage and Meat Store in Claresholm says big meat processing plants are significantly increasing the cost of their beef.

“We have gotten massive amounts of increases here in the last couple of days, ranging upwards to almost about 100 per cent in increases,” Chantal Roberts, the owner of the store, said.

READ MORE: More coronavirus aid for Canadian meat plants may not come for months, officials say

Roberts took to Facebook to express her frustration with Bouvrey, where she buys her meat supply, and the other major meat plants.

The owner of Meadow Creek Sausage and Meat Ltd. took to Facebook to voice concerns over price hikes on beef in the province.
The owner of Meadow Creek Sausage and Meat Ltd. took to Facebook to voice concerns over price hikes on beef in the province. Meadow Creek Sausage/ Facebook

The post has been shared hundreds of times.

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Several other meat consumers also voiced their concerns, by leaving comments on the post.

Meadow Creek Sausage shared its invoices of beef purchased from Bouvre from April 22 and May 22 with Global News to show the significant price increase.

Mea
Mea. Global News

The invoices show that between the month-long period, the cost of brisket almost doubled. In the same time period, the cost of strip loin went up by 23 per cent and inside rose by 65 per cent.

However, the Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange has shown little movement in cattle prices since before the pandemic ramped up in early March.

READ MORE: How the coronavirus pandemic could change meat processing in Canada

“We’ve got local ranchers here that are not getting bang for their buck. They’re seeing less and less money for their cattle and it’s wrong,” Roberts said.

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Roberts adds they can only purchase their product from federally inspected meat plants, which makes buying from local meat facilities hard.

Through a statement provided to Global News, Bouvry disputes any allegations of inflated pricing:

“There is no price gouging. Market price has increased because of shortage of meat, and despite that, we have kept our meat pricing reasonable.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Support for farmers and ranchers through AgriRecovery

Roberts says the store has also reached out to MLA Roger Reid, Alberta Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen and Premier Jason Kenney with their concerns.

Reid wasn’t available for an interview Tuesday, but told Global News:

“I did raise the issue with the minister’s office (Monday) and will be discussing it further, later in the week.

“We know our producers are feeling the hit and I am working with our government to ensure we find a sustainable framework for them to build their business.”

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