California is set to begin enforcing an animal welfare proposition in 2022 requiring more space for pigs, chickens, and calves.
The proposition was approved in 2018.
According to the Associated Press, only 4% of hog operations can comply with the new rules.
Business owners say they’re expecting an even more significant hike in pork prices than what they’ve seen already.
“With the new legislation that has come out about the confinement of animals, you have these large producers raising a large number of animals in a small space and that’s based on our current food system, we have a lot of people to feed,” said Morro Bay Butcher and Deli Owner, Geoff Montgomery.
“My bacon prices have gone up almost 40 percent since we opened up full-board June 15th. I’m feeling the pain,” said Budget Café Owner, Rhonda Mayeda.
“When those rules change, it has a ripple effect through the whole system. It’s supply and demand and if they can’t meet demand the prices go up,” said Montgomery.
The decision was made in response to animal welfare groups pushing for improved ways of treating farm animals, including giving them the appropriate space.
“It’s not only bacon. Sausage is made out of pork and ham is made out of pork. I am affected across the board,” said Mayeda.
“It just won’t be available in the quantities that we’re used to,” Montgomery said.
Business owners say they may have to raise their prices to stay afloat.
“I’m hanging on and keeping an eye on things. If prices continue to go up, then I’ll be forced to raise my prices,” said Mayeda.
"There are only two sides of bacon to each animal and if I’m only getting a couple of animals each month, that is four slabs of bacon a month,” said Montgomery.
Montgomery adds he is shifting his approach to purchasing his meats to buying locally rather than making his purchases from a large producer.