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Inflation is About to Cook California’s Bacon as New Rules Kick-In

Inflation is About to Cook California’s Bacon as New Rules Kick-In

Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply.

Life gets more challenging in California daily.

Today’s test of my resolve to continue residing in California is that new rules will likely slam bacon supplies.

A California law taking effect next year could make pork challenging to find and more expensive to purchase.

Beginning January 1, California will enforce the Farm Animal Confinement Proposition (Prop 12) which was approved by voters in 2018 and requires more space for breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens and veal calves.

Unless the courts intervene or the state temporarily allows non-compliant meat to be sold in the state, California will lose almost all of its pork supply, much of which comes from Iowa, and pork producers will face higher costs to regain a key market.

National veal and egg producers are optimistic they can meet the new standards, but only four percent of hog operations now comply with the new rules.

Experts believe that the price of bacon could soar by up to 60 percent. Shortages are a possibility.

The outlet quoted Matt Sutton, the public policy director for the California Restaurant Association, as saying: “We are very concerned about the potential supply impacts and therefore cost increases.”

Should half of California’s pork supply end up lost by the start of next year, the price of bacon could rocket up by 60 percent, which means a $6 pack would increase to $9.60, according to a Hatamiya Group study seen by AP.

While the final regulations are not finished, the rules about the space have been known for years.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture said in response to questions put to them from AP: “It is important to note that the law itself cannot be changed by regulations and the law has been in place since the Farm Animal Confinement Proposition (Prop 12) passed by a wide margin.”

California restaurant owners are mounting a challenge.

“Our number one seller is bacon, eggs and hash browns,” said Jeannie Kim, who for 15 years has run SAMS American Eatery on San Francisco’s busy Market Street. “It could be devastating for us.”

With a reworked menu and long hours, Kim has managed to keep her San Francisco restaurant alive during the coronavirus pandemic. Now, she fears her breakfast-focused diner could be ruined within months by California’s new rules.

…The pork industry has filed lawsuits but so far courts have supported the California law. The National Pork Producers Council and a coalition of California restaurants and business groups have asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to delay the new requirements. The council also is holding out hope that meat already in the supply chain could be sold, potentially delaying shortages.

Pigs may not fly, but in California, the pork prices will be sky-high.

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Comments

Morning Sunshine | August 3, 2021 at 9:14 am

does this mean cheaper prices for the rest of us – at least temporarily – when conventional bacon cannot be sold in Cali?

    docduracoat in reply to Morning Sunshine. | August 3, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    We passed the same law here in Florida years ago.
    Although the animal rights people used the referendum process to place it in the state constitution.
    We had no shortage of bacon for even one minute.
    Seems to me the California people could just buy their bacon from Florida hog producers

      henrybowman in reply to docduracoat. | August 3, 2021 at 5:15 pm

      There’s a difference between a law that controls how the famers in your jurisdiction operate, and one that forbids “non-compliant meat to be sold in the state” regardless of origin.

    No, because CA is doing the same thing they did for cars: make every producer follow the rules nationwide.

Halcyon Daze | August 3, 2021 at 9:14 am

France is bacon.

Morningstar soy bacon strips.

Is there any business in Ca that Sacramento can’t regulate out of business? I’m guessing these regs are done by the coat and tie crowd that has no idea where their food comes from.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Whitewall. | August 3, 2021 at 9:35 am

    They also don’t know where gasoline, electricity, gas, or water come from, either.

    Milhouse in reply to Whitewall. | August 3, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    .

    I’m guessing these regs are done by the coat and tie crowd

    No, this one was done by the voters. Who also have no idea where food comes from

      Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | August 3, 2021 at 4:30 pm

      Downvoting a fact won’t change it.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Milhouse. | August 4, 2021 at 1:22 pm

        You often are getting down-ticked just for being Milhouse. Not right, but, there it is.

        And, no, I didn’t downtick you.

      Idonttweet in reply to Milhouse. | August 3, 2021 at 7:43 pm

      In order to enforce this, they’re going to have to send inspectors to farm states to verify the farmers are making room available for the critters to social distance. But California has banned state-sponsored travel to many of those states because they don’t toe the line on LGBTQ(whatever) “rights.”

      The actual ballot language (available here: https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_12,_Farm_Animal_Confinement_Initiative_(2018))
      isn’t terribly informative. The official fiscal impact statement for the proposition cites potential decrease in tax revenues not to exceed a few million dollars, and up to ten million a year to enforce. We’re talking the California government so we know the costs are low-balled by at least an order of magnitude.

        Subotai Bahadur in reply to Idonttweet. | August 3, 2021 at 9:56 pm

        I understand that the bureaucrats have not even started writing the regulations mandated by the new law, that other states will have to follow, so the farmers there cannot even start to come into compliance if they wish to do so [I’m willing to see no pork products go to the Peoples’ Democrat Republic of Alta California], and they do not know if the bureaucrats will change the rules AFTER they have spent the money to comply with the first version.

        Subotai Bahadur

    henrybowman in reply to Whitewall. | August 3, 2021 at 5:45 pm

    Nope. The fault for this lies squarely with the stupid California voter.
    Prop 12 was an initiative, created by the Humane Society of the US. Roughly two thirds of California voters thought it was a great idea, with no negative consequences whatsoever (or consequences they were “willing to endure to save the poor animals.”) It wasn’t a case of the regulators taking liberties with the law, the law was that bad.

    Humane Society of the US, like Southern Poverty Law Center, are a group of people who took an organization with a good name associated with a laudable goal and turned it into a diseased cash cow to be milked by the new crop of owners. Two-thirds of donations are retained by the org. Charity Navigator gives it 2/4 stars, below the “give with confidence” level. Even the Huffington Post warns, don’t donate to HSUS if you care about pets.

The mysteries of the commerce clause continue. CA can pass laws and set regulations which quite clearly impact interstate commerce; automobiles, food ECT, but the expansive view of federal power and authority under the commerce clause was set in the case of a man growing feed for his own animals which never left his farm much less crossed State lines.

    Milhouse in reply to CommoChief. | August 3, 2021 at 2:52 pm

    Until the 1930s it was thought that the Dormant Commerce Clause prevented states from regulating products imported from other states or countries and sold as is, in the original packaging. Only if some change were made to a product could it come under state regulation. That’s one of the reasons why the dry lobby wanted national prohibition: dry states could ban the sale of imported alcohol by the glass, but not by the bottle. And that’s why the 21st amendment, which repealed national prohibition, makes it a federal offense to import alcohol into a dry state. Nowadays such a clause would be unnecessary, because the dry states themselves could make it an offense.

      CaptTee in reply to Milhouse. | August 4, 2021 at 5:29 pm

      The problem with “Progressive” interpretations of the Constitution is there are often not consistent. Driver’s Licenses are valid across state lines, but Teacher’s Licenses, Conceal Weapons Licenses and Doctor’s License are not.

    henrybowman in reply to CommoChief. | August 3, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    The irony is that this precise point was litigated, and the same federal government who gave us Wickard v. FIlburn said, “no, this is OK.”

    Ruling: Proposition 12 did not violate the Interstate Commerce Clause because Proposition 12 was not directed at interstate commerce and did not call for uniform practices throughout the U.S.

    https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_12,_Farm_Animal_Confinement_Initiative_(2018)

You can’t have shortages unless the price is controlled.

    You can certainly have shortages if the supply is controlled. California acts like it is a monopsony in a lot of ways, since it is such a large market; for example, having it’s own emission and fuel standards for cars.

    I think in the case of pork bellies from the Midwest, CA is a relatively small piece of the ($400 billion!) global market or ($39 billion) US Market. There’s a question as to whether there are non-pork fungible replacements for bacon though.

      UserP in reply to Xmas. | August 3, 2021 at 10:12 am

      Does that mean I won’t have any ham for Xmas?

      nordic_prince in reply to Xmas. | August 3, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      There is no substitute for true bacon. Turkey “bacon” and other lab experiment, plant-based fake meat monstrosities scarcely qualify as “food.”

      Milhouse in reply to Xmas. | August 3, 2021 at 2:59 pm

      No, rhhardin is correct. Without price controls you can’t have a shortage. The price will simply rise until the demand shrinks to match the supply.

      Eventually the higher price in CA will induce some manufacturers to put the money into complying with that state’s crazy rules, so they can get some of that money, and then the price will come down; but it will never come down to the original price unless the rules are repealed. (But those manufacturers will have difficulty selling outside CA, because consumers won’t want to pay the price they’ll have to charge in order to recoup the extra cost.)

I think it’s safe to say that stores in states that border CA are going to see an uptick in pork sales, particularly those stores which sit close to the border.

As for mail ordering, I’d bet that a whole bunch of businesses are going to just outright refuse orders that have CA delivery addresses. It’s not like it’s happening already with other products due to CA laws and propositions that have been approved by voters.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to p. | August 4, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Decades ago, I worked as an inside salesman selling various heater elements and related products to industry. One manufacturer we repped made, among other things, barrel heaters. He had a customer about 20 miles north of the Oregon / Washington border who bought a lot of the product.

    The issue was that Washington required him to collect sales tax on goods delivered into Washington, even though his company had no physical presence. The paperwork alone was daunting.

    So…. we’d order the gear and have it delivered to our office in Portland. It happened to be right at the Columbia River on I-5. The customer would come pick it up, put it in his vehicle, and then go back to Washington.

“Inflation is about to cook California’s bacon”

I only have two things to say:

For bacon: Cook away!

For people: Move away!

    gonzotx in reply to UserP. | August 3, 2021 at 11:54 am

    NO! They are coming in droves and destroying Texas with their buying of houses double the price a year ago so Texans can’t afford to buy any property in our own state AND their freakin left wing politics
    They bring that crap here too!

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to gonzotx. | August 3, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Hong Kong people have priced Vancouverites out of their homes. It’s crazy.

      nordic_prince in reply to gonzotx. | August 3, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      Have a heart – there are plenty of blue-state refugees moving to TX et al to escape the insanity. I will be joining them shortly.

      4fun in reply to gonzotx. | August 3, 2021 at 9:55 pm

      Move to cali and offer 1/5 the price of their homes and turn cali red? Just a thought, not a great thought but a though nonetheless.

        henrybowman in reply to 4fun. | August 4, 2021 at 12:44 am

        Certainly a futile gesture. You’d be buying a home from someone who can no longer stand CA politics, not someone who is happily driving it.

          If enough leftists leave then maybe the state will turn red. Not that I think there’s a lot of chance of that happening.
          Mostly I think the cali conservatives should all leave the state and turn Nevada, Arizona and Utah red. Staying in cali is a loser for any conservative no matter how much they like the weather. If they stay then tough schiff to them. Quit crying and accept your serfdom.

      PODKen in reply to gonzotx. | August 4, 2021 at 8:54 am

      And just how many of those sellers are happy to sell their houses at prices that you say Californians are willing to pay? I’d bet every seller is glad to have the money.

SeekingRationalThought | August 3, 2021 at 10:04 am

Great. More, cheaper bacon for the rest of us. For now at least.

How is this interference in interstate commerce even legal? CA has no right to dictate how other states produce products. They can ban the sale of pork if they wish, but they can’t tell Iowa how to produce pork.

    daniel_ream in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 3, 2021 at 11:45 am

    Maybe try reading the article again.

    Milhouse in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 3, 2021 at 3:13 pm

    Iowans are free to produce pork any way they like — so long as they don’t want to sell it in California. As you say, CA could ban the sale of pork altogether, even though that would obviously affect Iowan farmers. A fortiori it can ban the sale of pork that wasn’t made according to its standards.

    Until the 1930s, this wasn’t the case. The dormant commerce clause was thought to mean that CA could only ban the sale of pork that is locally produced, or locally repackaged (.e.g. by turning it into sandwiches). But it could not ban the sale of pork that is still in the same form in which it was imported, whether from another state or from another country. Therefore it could not impose its standards on such imports either. But that understanding changed in the 1930s.

    henrybowman in reply to The_Mew_Cat. | August 3, 2021 at 5:52 pm

    You mean, like they tell Springfield MA and Smyna GA how they have to make guns?

“No bacon for you.”

I can see that as one way to punish wokeness.

Not harsh enough a punishment. But a start is a start.

SeiteiSouther | August 3, 2021 at 10:25 am

Begun the Pork Wars have…

When eggs got scarce where I live last spring, there was an explosion of chicken coops in my neighborhood. Are “pet” pigs about to become popular?

    gonzotx in reply to elliesmom. | August 3, 2021 at 11:56 am

    I would so love to have chickens but there are enough Poisonous snakes in my area, I live on a creek in Texas, that it scares me much

      UserP in reply to gonzotx. | August 3, 2021 at 1:48 pm

      You need a honey badger.

        henrybowman in reply to UserP. | August 3, 2021 at 5:54 pm

        All you need is a roosting platform that snakes can’t climb to.. Chickens can fly to it.

      4fun in reply to gonzotx. | August 3, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      Get some pigs gonzotx.
      Pigs are not immune to snake venom. This is a common misconception
      because pigs skin is tough to bite through
      for a snake to reach any blood vessels, therefore leading people to believe they are immune.

BYOB- Bring your own bacon

    Paul in reply to buck61. | August 3, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    This fabulous book was recently published by a couple of guys in Austin, one of whom is a chef, hunting guide and ‘ranch to table’ advocate. It teaches you everything you need to know to hunt, kill, butcher and cook your own pork, which in many parts of the country is abundant and free for the taking.

    https://thehogbook.com

One of the largest pork producers is Smithfield Foods, which happens to be owned by WH Group which is a Chinese company, which is the worlds largerst pork producer. I’m sure the Chinese aren’t too happy about this.

The Friendly Grizzly | August 3, 2021 at 12:03 pm

I have a business proposal for fellow LIers. Open a chain of stores. One in Brookings OR, Prim NV, Yuma AZ. The stores will sell gaming computers and bacon.

Anyone want in?

    Without cheating and looking at a map, let me guess…. these are all just across the CA state line, yes? You forgot ammo and high capacity magazines.

    They will create CHP check points to search for contraband bacon. Looking for bacon bits hidden in fender panels. But then Vegas bus trips will promote bacon at every casino!

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to alaskabob. | August 3, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      I was pondering the change of duty for the border ag inspection stations.

      Unmarked Portland PD used to sit outside fireworks stores on the Vancouver (Washington) side, and radio livense numbers to their fellow revenuers on the Oregon side. I think you can guess the rest.

    henrybowman in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | August 3, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    I’ve already registered the tradename: Gigs ‘n’ Pigs.

You see higher bacon prices, I see higher housing prices in states where Ca residents are fleeing to.

Today in Wa we saw one of the restaurants go out of business that defied the lock downs and incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in L&I fines… they cited supply issues and also the inability to hire employees which is the same as all other eateries. This place had been there for decades.

    UserP in reply to Andy. | August 3, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    Higher housing prices is because millions of illegals are buying houses.

      Andy in reply to UserP. | August 3, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      and they all have Ca license plates when they arrive.

      bhwms in reply to UserP. | August 4, 2021 at 10:44 am

      Are you sure? Where do they get the money?

      I do think they are crowding out the rental unit market, with morons like Catholic Charities funding them for a time.

        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to bhwms. | August 4, 2021 at 1:59 pm

        .

        …morons like Catholic Charities…

        Morons? Hardly. Money-hungry scoundrels every bit as bad as any other multi-national corporation. They have no loyalty to the nation they are in.

        The same is true of the Lutheran charities that have infested Minneapolis with Somalis.

    geronl in reply to Andy. | August 3, 2021 at 6:05 pm

    Those who have the means need to start moving to the country

Let me see. Who owns most of the pork processing companies these days? Jimmy Dean right. Wrong! China!

All bacon is equal, but some bacon is more equal.

nordic_prince | August 3, 2021 at 2:21 pm

Why the hell can’t these commies get permanently stranded on a desert island and leave the rest of us alone?

Why is this a story now? Haven’t Californians known this was coming for almost three years now? After all, that was when they voted for it. Or against it, but they still knew about it.

I imagine this also applies to pork sausage and links too. What about hot dogs that aren’t all beef?

Be nice if the pork producers just told cali to fuck off, go find somewhere else to get bacon. Like china or north korea.
Stupid should hurt and hurt bad.

    henrybowman in reply to 4fun. | August 4, 2021 at 12:57 am

    In the gun culture, that’s known as “Barretting” a state or city. It’s a great idea, but it doesn’t work, because there’s always some greedy bastard who covets that market, and the tyrants simply hire elsewhere.

    Khrushchev was a two-faced coyote, but his observation about a capitalist being someone willing to sell anyone the very rope they planned to use to hang him was amazingly accurate.

Subotai Bahadur | August 3, 2021 at 10:16 pm

Those few cops that remain in California, where real crime and criminals are not prosecuted and cops are defunded and prosecuted, will be targeted at pork smugglers. Ponder, if you will, the primary meat in Mexican and Asian cuisines. Of course, so long as they pay off California Leftist bureaucrats, no Mexicans-of-dubious-legality will be charged and prosecuted.

Subotai Bahadur

I wonder … for all of you that berate Californians for voting for the law … pigs die so you can have your bacon and other pork products. How much more hell are you willing to subject them to just so you can have it?

For those who think that CA is regulating interstate Commerce with this pork law, please keep in mind the following:

a) The state where you reside can (and does) collect income taxes that you earn in another state — ask all the NJ folks who commute or used to commute into NY.

b) The state where you work can (and does) collect income tax on you even if you are a resident of that state. Again, ask those NJ folks who commute into NY (or even work remotely for a NY office).

c) The state where you reside can collect sales tax on your out-of-state purchases. As you all no doubt have noticed with your on-line purchases. Technically you owe it as well even if you physically purchase out of state. NYS has long sent undercover tax folks to NJ shopping malls (NJ does not have sales tax on clothing while NY does) to take license plate numbers and send people nasty-grams.

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