May 262011
 

This story is from the CBC:

Beef prices in Ottawa up 15% from last year

CBC News

Posted: May 6, 2011 8:56 AM ET

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One of the owners of Hintonburger, Thomas Williams, holds a notice explaining a price increase for burgers due to the rising cost of beef. One of the owners of Hintonburger, Thomas Williams, holds a notice explaining a price increase for burgers due to the rising cost of beef. Ashley Burke/CBCStores and restaurants are raising the price of beef for customers as demand outstrips supply in Ottawa.

Steve Spratt, who runs Ottawa’s largest livestock auction, said the average price of beef is 15 per cent higher than a year ago.

“There’s less cattle out and around the countryside,” Spratt said, adding that it was driving up demand and prices accordingly.

“Not only at the sales barn, but at the stores for the customers,” he said.

Spratt said the shortage was due to farmers leaving the business last year, apparently because they couldn’t afford the feed costs and low market price.

At Hintonburger, owner Thomas Williams said the cost of organic beef has risen by 30 per cent from last year.

It’s a hike he’s had to pass on to his patrons, making burgers about 50 cents more expensive.

“We were just eating the cost,” he said. “There was a break in revenue. We were behind on a couple bills. It was hard.”

Beef prices are expected to continue to rise slightly over the summer.

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