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Biden hopes to lower meat prices, local meat markets say they won't benefit much

Local meat markets said they won't benefit much
Posted at 6:42 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 19:42:22-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Moody’s Quality Meats has been a family business in the Coastal Bend for almost 60 years. Charlie Moench, the owner, is a third generation owner. He said his grandfather started the business in 1964 before his father took it over in 1972.

Ever since the pandemic started, they’re facing challenges like a labor shortage.

“The packing house has so many employees and if you cut that labor down, you can’t produce as much so your inventory goes down, so that ends up driving the cost up because your demand is still the same, but your product is not,” Charlie Moench said.

President Biden is allocating a billion dollars from the American Rescue Plan aimed at helping independent and small meat producers.

Under the plan, Biden’s administration said they would allocate $50 million in research and technical assistance to help independent business owners expand or create capacity. The plan is also hoping to increase the producers’ income, provide producers an opportunity to have ownership in processing facilities and create stable and good paying jobs in rural areas.

President Biden said he hopes the billion dollars will help smaller meat and poultry industries compete with the four major meat processing companies: Tyson, JBS, Cargill, and National Beef.

Moody’s Quality Meats said this wouldn’t exactly help their business.

“I don’t think it’ll be of a tremendous help. I think that it’s going to be some and some I don’t know the degree,” Terry Moench, Charlie’s father said.

QC Meat Market in Corpus Christi is also having similar issues, having to pay for more expensive yet lower quality meat. They said they had to pay up to 50% more for some meats and because of that, had to raise some meat prices up to 30%.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. This COVID and then the employee shortage and then the supply chain disruptions. We are fighting in multiple places,” Peter Patel, the owner said.

Patel said because of the challenges he’s had due to the pandemic, he’s hoping Biden’s plan will have enough money to reach businesses like his.

“Just make sure that it reaches to the bottom labor…all the way to the last, and that’s how it can benefit to us. Otherwise it’s just going to go from one hand into another hand and it’s not going to benefit to the local public,” Patel said.