A new law set to start at the beginning of next year may make bacon much harder to get in California.
The state is set to begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition approved by voters in 2018. It requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves, according to the Associated Press.
National veal and egg producers are optimistic that they can meet the standards of the new law, but only 4% of pig operations are currently complying with these new rules. Thus, “[U]nless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market,” according to the AP.
Public Policy Director for the California Restaurant Association Matt Sutton said the coalition was "very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases.”
There is little time to “build new facilities, inseminate sows and process the offspring” by January, so the pork industry will have a hard time supplying California, which consumes approximately 15% of the country’s produced pork, he said. California’s farms only produce 45 million pounds of pork per month, while the state’s restaurants and groceries use approximately 255 million pounds per month.
The National Pork Producers Council has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for federal aid, which would help pay for retrofitting pig facilities across the country in the meantime, according to the AP.
Barry Goodwin, an economist at North Carolina State University, estimates that the extra costs would be 15% more per pig for a farm of 1,000 breeding pigs. The Hatamiya Group, a consulting group hired by opponents of the new law, conducted a study concluding that if half the pork supply of California were suddenly lost, bacon prices would rise by 60%.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.