We're all still in the trenches of COVID-19 and while very few of us really understand the economic & social cost of the pandemic, there are little glimpses here and there of our new future. And not only the future, it's showing the true colors of certain businesses and business models.
Right now, along with you, we're watching on national tv as dairy farmers are instructed on how to dump their milk, beef producers take heavy price hits, hog farmers get told to fumigate and bury their hogs ready for market (seriously). The massive shift in demand, that came literally overnight, from huge food-service demand to almost exclusive grocery demand creates incredible collateral damage as an industry through-putting 125,000 head PER DAY (beef) tries to coarse-correct and retool in a matter of hours... It's absolute chaos. The backlash is processors are getting buried in heaps of certain steak cuts so they slash their pay-price to the farmer yet demand is at an all-time high so they're able to capture their costs through their now hefty 80% margins as prices on the shelf escalate while the producer stares bankruptcy in the face with the foot of their only "customer" on their throat. This "conventional model" has no regard for anyone or anything but itself and is far disconnected from the soil.
The beauty in this mess is that people are relentless and find a way... finding their way back to the source; the farmer, back to the soil, where transparency reigns and real decisions about the quality of our food and future of our planet exist. The true cost of COVID-19 might be that conceded giants implode simply because they've gotten too big.
Due to the nature of how we source combined with our vertical integration, we live on a proverbial regenerative island which insulates us from many of the outside forces the mainstream deals with, and we're incredibly grateful for it. We operate Northstar on a "cost plus" model that takes our hard raising, harvesting, processing, & shipping costs and add our modest margin. We rely on very little from the outside which allows us to have steady supply & pricing. While most protein prices have spiked, we've been able to remain steady. We can't grow as fast nor does our product get cheap on the shelf but that's a price we're willing to pay. Because to us it's more about doing the best with what we have and feeding people well.
In the end, once all the dust settles, people will find new, more direct & amicable paths to their food; ones with character & relationship & honesty.
Ultimately, the farmer & the consumer will win.