Friday, December 16, 2016

That Bison Burger Just Got Pricier Thanks to Canada Ranchers

That pricey bison burger just got more expensive. Ground-bison prices have climbed to record highs as ranchers in Canada are holding back more animals to expand their herds and take advantage of a growing appetite for the grass-fed meat. The cost stayed at an all-time high of C$23.93 ($17.94) per kilogram in November, after reaching the peak a month earlier. Prices were up 41 percent from a year earlier and almost double the price of a kilogram of ground beef, according to Canada’s agriculture ministry. “With current prices, retention will continue and that will certainly aggravate the supply problem,” said Terry Kremeniuk, executive director of the Regina, Saskatchewan-based Canadian Bison Association. Bison prices have been rallying as demand for the niche product is rising among U.S. consumers amid a favorable exchange rate and as more people seek out organic foods and healthy alternative proteins. The grass-fed meat has fewer calories, less cholesterol and fat than beef, and the animals are raised without hormones or antibiotics. As demand gains, Canada’s ranchers are becoming more reluctant to send animals to slaughter, and instead are holding them back in favor of herd expansion. As a result, fewer bison are being exported for processing in the U.S., Canada’s biggest market, and domestic production probably fell 25 percent in 2016 from a year earlier to 10,500 animals, Kremeniuk said...more

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