One of the main issues that Grazing Days has been wrestling with is the accessibility of our meat prices. On the one hand, the price of quality beef and pork like Grazing Days’ is often out of reach for lower income households. On the other hand, farming (especially small scale farming), although very rewarding in other ways, is seldom a money maker. If we expect our food to be priced so that everyone can afford it, then our farmers would not be making a living wage. Inversely, if we expect our farmers to make a living wage, then the price of food becomes too high for it to be accessible to lower income households.
The question we’ve been asking ourselves is “how do we, as a society, ensure that low income families can afford to eat good quality food AND that our farmers make a living wage?”
With the increase in meat prices recently, we’ve been trying to think of creative ways of addressing this issue. This year, we are continuing our experiment from last year and ask people to pay an additional 10 cents per pound of meat (with an opt out clause) which will go into our “Affordability Fund.” Low income families who are unable to afford Grazing Days beef or pork can apply to purchase the meat “at cost” and pay $8.24 per pound for beef and pork. The Grazing Days income portion of their order ($2.00 per pound) would be paid out of the Affordability Fund.
If there is no more money in the Affordability Fund, we will not accept any additional “at cost” orders. If there is money left in the fund when all the orders have been received, Grazing Days will donate that amount of meat to Centre 7, an “Out of the Cold” supper program that runs weekly Saturday suppers in Old Ottawa South during the winter months. If everyone opted in, we would be able to provide 14 half share orders “at cost.”
If you are living on a low income and would like to be a beneficiary of the Affordability Fund, please place your Grazing Days grass-fed beef or pastured pork order as normal and respond to the email invoice letting us know you would like to apply for assistance from the Affordability Fund.