Written on October 26, 2016
We know that our products are more expensive than what you can find in a grocery store. This despite the fact that our margins are as thin as a grocery stores.
The components that make our food more expensive than the grocery store are:
- Feed cost.
- Pasture raised ruminant animals – If the grass is free, why is the beef so expensive? It’s true that our beef and lamb only eat grass. Most of our beef cost is reflective of labor cost. It takes us at least six months longer to raise a beef steer than a factory feed lot. Our managed intensive grazing methodology requires labor everyday.
- Ducks, pigs, and chickens – While these animals are on pasture and woodlands everyday, they do consume an organic grain mixture. If we didn’t provide them with grains, the ducks and chickens wouldn’t produce eggs, and the pigs wouldn’t grow. The certified USDA grain mixture is expensive. We cannot even find the soy-free mixture we are looking for in Maryland so we have to drive to Lancaster to pick up 14,000lbs at a time.
- Labor Cost – We do not raise animals on a feed lot. Feed lot’s are designed to be very machine intensive and not require a lot of labor. Our method of raising animals on pasture and in woodlands is much better for the animals but it does require more labor.
- Environmental Stewardship – We are happy not to be using antibiotics and harsh chemicals to help animals get over illnesses. However, it’s more expensive with labor and herbs to get our animals healthy again. Additionally, raising animals in a clean healthy grassy environment is important to us.