CORONAVIRUS

Sales At Utah Family Farms Spike As Supermarkets Limit Meat Purchases

May 5, 2020, 1:58 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm

An employee restocks shelves with pork in the meat section at a Kroger Co. supermarket in Louisvill...

An employee restocks shelves with pork in the meat section at a Kroger Co. supermarket in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, March 5, 2019. Kroger Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on March 7. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

SNOWVILLE, Utah – More shoppers are turning to local farms as the national grocery chains hold off supply shortages by imposing limits on meat purchases.

“In our community of small local farms, everyone is buzzing with news of massive sales increases, up to 1,300%,” said local farmer Kristin Varela in a news release.

Varela founded Kristin’s Farm Stand located outside of Snowville, which is just inside the central Utah state line shared with Idaho.

It is a direct-to-consumer sustainable farm.

“Not only are customers buying protein from us, but our pasture-raised eggs and vegetable sales are up as well,” Varela added.

This week several national grocery chains including Costco and Kroger announced limits on how much meat customers can buy as large meat processors shut down due to increasing COVID-19 cases in their workers.

Purchases are limited to just two to three packages of meat at a time.

Meat includes beef, pork and poultry, although the type of cut varies in different outlets.

The chains are trying to combat shortages and prevent a run on meat much like the toilet paper hoarding that hit stores at the beginning of the pandemic.

As the major meatpackers announced closures, President Donald Trump signed an executive order invoking the Defense Protection Act to keep packing plants open and limit shortages.

Varela said the growth in Utah farms goes beyond protein purchases.

“When we started in 2018, our target market was primarily health-conscious, educated foodies who specifically sought out our product for health and taste reasons,” she said. “But we are now also starting to see increased demand from mainstream customers as well.”

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Sales At Utah Family Farms Spike As Supermarkets Limit Meat Purchases