Impact of dry year hits East Gippsland butchers

Impact of dry year hits East Gippsland butchers


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AN EAST Gippsland butcher is also facing the repercussions of the dry conditions, as it impacts prices and customer habits at his Bairnsdale business.

AN EAST Gippsland butcher is also facing the repercussions of the dry conditions, as it impacts prices and customer habits at his Bairnsdale business.

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Callum Clancy, Lucas Cahill, Chris Hood, and Ben Vandenberghe, work at Homestyle Gourmet Butchers in Bairnsdale, where business has been impacted during the region's dry times.

Callum Clancy, Lucas Cahill, Chris Hood, and Ben Vandenberghe, work at Homestyle Gourmet Butchers in Bairnsdale, where business has been impacted during the region's dry times.

Homestyle Gourmet Butchers manager Jarryd Wilkins said the impact has been obvious.

“Prices of hay and grain that farmers have had to buy has raised the prices we’re paying for beef and lamb,” Mr Wilkins said.

“What we’re buying is very dear, it hasn’t been this expensive in a long time.”

He said he doesn’t beef up his own prices at times like this, even though it may impact his back pocket.

“It impacts us because we don’t jump up our prices when the prices go up, so our margins are impacted,” he said.

“It’s a catch 22, you would make more money if you increased your prices, but you would lose your customers who are used to the prices you’ve been selling meat for this whole time.”

He said until the prices go down, he will have to endure the hard times.

“The beef market is at a high, farmers are making a fair bit of money for their stock, but it’s definitely having an impact on us and our profits,” he said.

While local farmers are reaching satisfactory prices, Mr Wilkins said they are still going through a tough time and in turn that is being seen in his customers’ buying habits.

“You can just tell the dry conditions are having an impact, it seems there are bugger all people walking around the town, buying,” he said.

“We’re not necessarily having a significant amount of lowered business, we’re just finding that people are buying a lot less, or buying cheaper options.”

He said he hopes for a wet summer so customers’ buying habits are able to change.

“Until it goes down, we’re not too sure what will happen,” he said.

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