The latest version of middlemen in the meat industry (buyer beware)

What’s with all the “new” middlemen?

Package - grass fed beef from Butcher Box - from Australia

I guess there have always been middlemen. In the old days I think they called them distributors. 

But now there’s a new version - and somehow these middlemen claim to be a better connection between consumers and farmers. 

One of these middlemen businesses is Butcher Box. Here’s what it says on their website: “Our cattle are free to range on grassy pastures throughout their entire lives.”

Except here’s the deal: they don’t raise or own any cattle. They buy their “grass fed” beef from meat packers in Australia. That’s pretty far removed from the pretty pictures of cattle grazing that you’ll find on their website. 

Porter Road, Crowd Cow, Walden Meats - I could keep going. Their websites and marketing are suggestive that they are the farmers. 

But they’re middlemen with a twist. And I guess that’s fine - everybody should do their own thing. It’s the lack of transparency and the marketing copy that suggests they are something they’re not that bugs me.

But what do I know…I’m just a farmer.

dan kaplanComment