Agriculture secretary expects meat prices to moderate

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) – Relief may be in sight for consumers who’ve been dealing with skyrocketing meat prices.

Meat prices have climbed about 16% from a year ago. Beef prices are up about 20%. The Agriculture Department was recently ordered by the president to look more aggressively at possible violations of a federal law which was designed to protect consumers.

In an interview with KVRR News, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was asked whether the prices we’re paying at the supermarket are here to stay.

“I don’t believe so.  I think basically, what we’ve had is a disruption, obviously in our economy because of the pandemic,” Vilsack said.

“We essentially shut the economy down and then we opened it back up.  And as we opened it back up, people felt the necessity of going out and buying – and the supply chain wasn’t quite prepared for the tremendous demand.”

Vilsack says in addition to supply chain issues, prices are rising because Americans’ eating habits have changed.  He says because people are eating at home more often, it’ll take some time for the supply chain to make the necessary adjustments.

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