Regina's bacon lovers enjoy ahead of possible shortage
It's any meat-lover's worst nightmare. Waking up to a world without bacon.
But that's what a British farming organization is predicting. Sort of.
The National Pig Association says a worldwide shortage of bacon and pork next year is unavoidable.
The amount of hog owners keeps dropping every year and a drought in the United States and the European Union has skyrocketed the price of feeding our snorting, curly-tailed friends. Right now producers are spending more than they're making.
This has prompted a lot of businesses to sell their herds. The value of a pig has dropped as a result. Those still in operation are losing even more money.
The shortage of pork is expected to hit next spring after those in debt stop selling. When there are less hogs to be slaughtered, prices could jump. The British group says prices could double there.
Saskatchewan residents won't know for months if these fears will become reality but one thing can be agreed upon by diners at Mr. Breakfast in Regina.
"I love bacon. Bacon is excellent," said one customer.
"Put it on a plate. It's thick, it's tasty," said owner Harry Perentes.
Saskatchewan won't face the same fate, said Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart .
"No, I don't think so. It's very disappointing what's happened with Big Sky pork."
Big Sky feels the pinch of high feed prices, filing for bankruptcy protection earlier in the month.
"It's going to be a new world out there in the pork industry. Big Sky was the biggest supplier in Saskatchewan," noted Stewart.
The company houses 40 per cent of the province's hogs and is under bankruptcy protection.
The solution may be to rely on smaller farmers who are willing to wait out the tough price market right now, said Judy Ulrich of Ulrich Pork Farms.
"I think we have proved the industry that the smaller farmer can go ahead and live through those systems a lot easier than the bigger companies."
Right now she is losing about 35 dollars on each pig they sell.
It's tough to not be making any money but her staff understands that sacrifices need to be made when the market is in a downturn, she said.
Some customers at Mr. Breakfast will dig a little deeper into their wallets regardless of how the downturn affects prices at the grocery store.
"It'll have to go a long way to go out of my consumption diet."
"I don't like to pay extra for my bacon but if I have to I will."
One was fine with giving up his monthly treat.
"So I guess if it goes up a long ways it probably would be something you'd have to do without."