WJR: Kevin Ketels on inflation issues in meat industry
Kevin Ketels, assistant professor of teaching in global supply chain management at Wayne State University, shares his insights about the ongoing supply chain and inflation issues. As ongoing supply chain problems impact nearly every industry, some have accused the meat industry of unnecessarily raising prices to increase profit. Ketels says understanding the issue depends greatly on perspective. “If you’re asking the president, he’s saying there’s too much consolidation within the meat processors: they’ve cornered the market. In 1977, we had four firms that controlled 25% of meat processing – it’s about 80% today. That allows them to, perhaps, dictate price and so they have more control,” he said. “If you ask them, they would say that all costs are up: Costs for fertilizer, packaging, transportation, storage, labor. All of those expenses are up, and they’re driving prices up. Plus, demand is up.” Ketels said that he suspects many factors are contributing to the increase in prices, and most of those factors originate with the pandemic and subsequent conditions.