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Food Costs Could Rise with Relocation & Reduction

by 5m Editor
11 April 2012, at 8:49am

US - Paying more for food may not be out of the question for consumers if regulations on the US poultry and livestock sectors increase. In fact, consumers could pay up to $16.8 billion more annually for meat, milk and eggs if regulations are imposed on US poultry and livestock farmers that raise input costs by 25 per cent.

According to United Soybean Board, the Consumer and Food Safety Costs of Offshoring Animal Agriculture, a soy-checkoff-funded study released last month, evaluated current US supply and demand for poultry and livestock products and the impact of regulations on retail price. The study indicates that potential regulations could raise consumer costs. For example, requiring cage-free housing for laying hens would increase the cost of eggs from $1.68 to $2.10 per dozen, a total cost of $2.66 billion per year to US consumers.

“This could have a big impact on everyone – it’s not just that dozen eggs you and I buy at the grocery store,” explains Vanessa Kummer, a soybean farmer from Colfax, North Dakota, and chair of the United Soybean Board (USB). “As Americans, we have abundant, nutritious and affordable food choices that rely heavily on protein from animals, and, as farmers, we continue to work hard on improvements because we share consumers’ concerns for our country’s land and resources, and the quality of America’s food.”

The United Soybean Board says that the report cites increased regulations that could drive up costs of production meat, milk and eggs by anywhere from 10 per cent to 25 per cent. It shows that a 25 per cent increase in costs to animal agriculture would reduce US exports by $1.1 billion and cause nearly 9,000 Americans to lose their jobs.

“US agriculture leads the world as a global producer and exporter of animal products, and we need that to continue,” adds Ms Kummer. “The poultry and livestock sectors not only support the US export market, but also make our economy stronger here at home by creating jobs and tax revenue.”

According to the United Soybean Board, the most recent statistics compiled by the soy checkoff show the poultry and livestock sectors support 1.8 million jobs and generate more than $283 billion for the US economy.

Further Reading

- You can view the study by clicking here.