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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
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Other hurdles, such as declining numbers of small processors and a slaughtering infrastructure typically disconnected from the farm, are more difficult for the know-thy-meat industry to overcome. “A vegetable farmer can control their market from beginning to end,” observes Deck. “But as meat growers, we lose control as soon as the animal goes to the kill floor.” In the city, training opportunities for next- generation butchers don’t exactly abound, adds Davis, who traveled to France to learn the craft. There are about six butcher shops in the Portland metro area, and possibly 15 statewide.
Despite the challenges, Davis, who aims to eventually open a butcher shop, educational center and clearinghouse matching consumers and farmers, is optimistic about the future and changing the American relationship to meat. In upstate New York, she points out, students pay $10,000 to apprentice at Fleisher’s, a grass-fed and organic meat shop, then go on to open such emporiums in their own communities.
“There is a growing population who doesn’t want to buy meat at grocery stores,” Davis says. “As demand for local, sustainable meat goes up, so will demand for trained people.”
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