meat supply

Local Meat Suppliers See Boost in Business Amid National Meat Plant Closures

NBC Universal, Inc.

As some meat plants begin to close due to COVID-19 concerns, New Britain's Catanzaro Quality Meats has seen an uptick in business.

Since 1932, Catanzaro has served as a retail and wholesale business and recently the demand for meat has skyrocketed.

Mirya Catanzaro works to cut meat for customers at Catanzaro Quality Meats in New Britain.

"We have chicken, steak pork chops, and hamburgers which are all hot commodities," said Mirya Catanzaro, store manager for the family business. "I'd say we're probably selling a thousand pounds of meat a day."

The business told NBC Connecticut that they haven't seen any shortages in their supply chain but it could be a completely different picture in a few weeks.

"I think there's going to be a shortage in the short term," said Catanzaro. "I don't know how huge of a shortage."

Supply rollbacks could mean local businesses and consumers may have to shell out more money, according to the business.

"I've noticed a rise already since the end of last week," said Catanzaro. "The prices have gone up within the past two weeks."

Customers like Leslie Pietras said she's happy to know there's a place to buy meat while supporting the local economy.

"The selection, quality, and taste texture of the meat is top-notch," said Pietras. "We want to keep them running because they've been there for me for 50 years and I want to make sure they stay open."

Southington's Karabin Farms tells NBC Connecticut that COVID19 has altered the way they serve customers.

"We're trying to do contactless pickup to try and reduce the number of interactions with our customers and our staff," said Diane Karabin, owner of Karabin Farms. "We've been inundated with people placing orders for groceries."

Diane Karabin of Karabin Farms reorganizes meat inside one of the store freezers for customers.

As many meat plants across the country begin to close down, the farm is working through the growing changes by offering a selection of grass-fed food options for shoppers.

"We have turkey, pork sausage, and eggs," said Karabin.

While Karabin Farms says they've seen a new amount of customers coming in, they're already experiencing some meat shortages including steak.

"I've already run out of New York Trips and Rib Steaks," said Karabin. "However, we are offering frozen dinners for our customers to pick up including lasagna, chicken, turkey, and sheppard pot pie."

Meanwhile, local chain grocery stores like Stop and Shop say they haven't experienced a major meat shortage.

They issued this statement to NBC Connecticut:

"At Stop & Shop, we are not seeing a significant impact as a result of meat plant closures. We remain in close contact with our suppliers to ensure we have a product coming to our stores each day. While we have been working through a small number of plant closures, none of our suppliers have been closed for a significant period of time. Also, we've also transitioned to alternative sources and supplies of meat. For example, many of our major suppliers are also supporting the foodservice industry and as that demand has decreased, they've been able to increase production for our stores."

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