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Capitalizing on consumer interest in local meat processing

With consumers flocking to local meat processors this spring, one Missouri-based agribusiness is looking at ways to add value to farmers' production through local meat processing facilities.

COVID-19 caused some significant disruption in the food system in March and April of this year, with consumers stocking up on a number of meat items, and retailers limiting the purchases of a number of staples like eggs and dairy products. That disruption fueled a spike in demand for local meat processing as consumers — many for the first time ever — sought out a small butcher or processor to source their family’s protein needs.

Major disruptions can often lead to opportunities for new entrants in established markets. One midwestern agribusiness concern is hoping to leverage the renewed interest in local processing into opportunities for farmers, including beef producers.

In this episode of Feedstuffs in Focus, editor Jacqui Fatka talks with Karla Klingner, CEO of Palindromes, a Missouri-based company focused on reimagining the agriculture value chain. Klingner discusses some of their work on establishing new meat processing facilities in the Midwest – one each dedicated to handling beef, pork, poultry and sheep – that are larger than most local facilities, but not on scale with traditional national or regional packers.

The goal? To add more value to farmers through what Klingner describes as controlling and verifying the “chain of custody” in the meat value chain.

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