COVID-19 pandemic: Port Macquarie-Hastings butchers remain upbeat amid Victoria's Meatworks crisis

Meeting demand: Waniora Village Butchery owner Gregory Bisaro.
Meeting demand: Waniora Village Butchery owner Gregory Bisaro.

Port Macquarie-Hastings butchers believe they will be able to continue to meet customer demand amid concerns meat prices will rise in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Meatworks have been a source of major coronavirus outbreaks during Victoria's second wave.

It's been reported Australia could face some food shortages due to Victoria's stage four coronavirus restrictions.

Major supermarkets in the state have already limited the number of meat products customers can buy at any one time.

However, majority of local butchers in the Port Macquarie-Hastings source their meat products from within the state.

Waniora Village Butchery sources its lamb from Cowra, beef from Frederickton and chicken from Sydney.

At the moment the only meat the business can no longer supply to customers is veal, due to it being supplied from Victoria.

Owner Gregory Bisaro said due to the pandemic it might become harder to source meat in the future, however it depends on if cases continue to rise.

Mr Bisaro said demand for local meats has remained high ever since the first coronavirus wave.

"People have realised what you can buy at butchers is far superior to what you can get from the supermarkets," he said.

"We haven't slowed down at all."

Laurieton's Wiggly Tail Pork Shop and Butchery manager James Ryan said when the pandemic first hit it was like Christmas without the hams for four weeks.

He estimated business has increased by about 50 per cent in comparison to pre-coronavirus times.

Mr Ryan believes meat prices will rise due to increased demand for products out of NSW, as a result of meatworks in Victoria taking a hit.

The business is already having trouble sourcing some chicken out of Sydney, due to increased competition for the product.

"I'd say in the future we'll have trouble getting beef and lamb," Mr Ryan said.

"I'd say they'll be a shortage of it around here.. and a price increase."

Wauchope's Coppy's Butcher Block manager Dave Thurtell estimates prices of meat have increased by about 10 to 20 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

He said he doesn't think prices will drop anytime soon, given there's still so much uncertainty around case numbers.

The business sources majority of meat locally and the shutdown of meatworks in Victoria hasn't impacted them as yet.

Mr Thurtell said he's confident he will continue to meet customer demand for products.

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This story Butchers confident they will continue to 'meat' demand first appeared on Camden Haven Courier.