The scandalous and infuriating reason meat keeps getting more expensive… 169



View Profile

On your last food shop, did you realise that you had to pay a lot more for your meat? Steaks, mince and silverside haven’t been this expensive in a long time with some butchers having to add up to $2 extra dollars per kilo in recent times despite not fully recovering costs. And the reason why had the Starts at 60 office fuming…

Firstly, there’s economic matters. The United States have had their lowest beef production in 20 years, so they’re going mad for Aussie meat. Then, there’s the increasing number of Free Trade Agreements (FTA) with other countries including Korea and Japan as well as an economic agreement with China that encourage around 70 per cent of Australia’s beef to be exported overseas. This global demand is forcing prices up and it’s the Australians trying to eat their own produce who’re suffering most.

But there’s another reason. There were always the cheap meat cuts that you could rely on for a frugal meal – silverside, chuck steak, sirloin, shanks and mince – but these are no longer affordable due to something that makes us very, very angry. Cooking shows on television.

The Age spoke to Malvern Butcher, Len Pope, who said that cooking shows had fuelled a frenzy in stores with products like beef tongues, oxtail and beed cheek tripling in price since January.

“They are popular with customers in their mid-20s with no kids, time to cook, and high incomes,” Mr Pope said.

“It’s the My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef, Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay effect”.

So next time you go to enjoy one of those reliably cheap meat cuts for dinner, be careful because chances are they aren’t so cheap anymore – and we’ve only got that grade B entertainment of cooking reality shows to blame!


Tell us, have you noticed the increase in meat prices? What was the last piece you purchased? Do you watch the cooking shows or do you avoid them? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I agree that it may be partly the fault of the cooking shows but market factors play a huge role. The farmer gets an few cents per kilo (bearing in mind that they are lucky to get $2.00 per kilo), but the middlemen whack up the prices by several dollars per kilo even though it costs no more to slaughter an expensive cow than a cheap cow . Also, the huge Halal certification fees paid by the abattoirs and subsequent packers and processors add substantially to the overall costs to the consumers.

    10 REPLY
    • Gregory, companies are slowly admitting just how much they are paying for the privilege of this rort.These insidious payments are fees extorting nearly every producer in Australia (and overseas) With the weak promise it will lift their export into muslim countries.

    • Abattoirs have admitted that they pay Halal fees in excess of $25,000.00 per month and that cost is passed on to the consumer

    • Agree about the halal tax! That is a disgrace. The biggest disgrace is that the farmers are the real losers. The middle man, eg Woolies and Coles, they are greedy and charge huge mark up on the cost per kilogram. I fail to see how the cooking shows are to blame! That’s crazy!

    • I think Halal certification only costs $200 which is hardly huge

      1 REPLY
      • I’m sorry Ailsa but that is complete nonsense.
        One of the main certifiers Mohammed El Mouehly is already on record on youtube admitting it has made him a millionaire.
        There are dozens of these scammers tripping over themselves to put the squeeze on businesses
        Because they claim it as part of a religion, it’s also tax free.
        It’s a very big business rort & a complete embarrassment to many Muslims.
        Our leaders are asleep at the wheel.

    • Look at the packaging for the halal certification … Ask your butcher where and how the meat is slaughtered ? You might be surprised .

  2. I agree with you, Yvonne. We as produces aren’t getting very much per kg for the cattle we sell.

    1 REPLY
    • It’s been that way for years, poor farmers do all the hard yakka and the middle man makes the money.

  3. Hate the reality cooking shows, such a circus and sick of the self importance of them all. Only two I will ever watch are Nigella or Jamie Oliver. Both have their feet on the ground as far as family meals are concerned. The last meats I bought are my go to meats, good quality mince and a chook.

  4. Hello. Suddenly the penny has dropped. I have been saying for ages that the price of meat has gone because of all those idiot chefs making so called new dishes out of cheap cut like for instance lamb shanks. Once we used to feed the dog on them. Lamb has gone out the window. Why you have to watch some clown cook a dish that you leant off your mother forty years ago beats me and it isn’t always the young ones it is people my age. I could go on but I guess everyone reading this rant knows when I am saying

    1 REPLY
    • Too true same as rabbit and oxtail when I lived in uk butcher gave u an oxtail for free!!! Rabbits dirt cheep now all gourmet and a big price increase!!! What’s new!!

  5. My butcher told me last week that mince/sausages and the cheaper meats have gone up due to the American demand for our “minced” products. It will be harder to budget for meat.

  6. What’s next Americans should we starve or pay higher prices for our own meat and let them get it cheaper

  7. Even the price of brisket bones for the dog have risen I noticed them for 7.99 per a kilo the other day which is bloody ridiculous for there is little to no meat on them these days and what else are you going to do with them?

  8. Yeaha nice, cheap feed of slow cooked shanks isa thing of the past. I’ve even seen them on restaurant menus at ridiculous prices.

    1 REPLY
    • I totally agree and was surprised to see lamb shanks mash and peas at our local RSL cafe lunch menu for $11:00. Tried them and they were lovely.

  9. Not only cost but quality. All best quality goes overseas,same with our fruit and fish marketing.

    5 REPLY
  10. I only on occsion watch Jamie oliver. The others never. At least Jamie cooks wholesome food. Not fancy bits enough to feed a sparrow.

  11. If this is the case why have one of the largest abattoirs in Victoria and South Australia recently released a press statement that they are laying off hundreds of employees due to the lack of sales in Lamb?The beef export from Australia only represents around 8% of our export market.

  12. Saw on the news last night meat going up as the farmers are getting terrific prices for cattle at the moment.

    7 REPLY
    • How much per kilo is the cheapest cut of meat you buy and how much do you pay for the premium cuts? The farmer is getting a fraction of the retail price and he/she is the one who has the most input, labour and expense in producing the meat.

    • Has always been the way Yvonne! The poor old farmer does all the hard yards, not to mention the costs, especially in drought time! Where they have to buy feed for them.

    • I’ll have to get in touch with my sisters partner at Tamworth as he is a farmer and see what he is getting for a beast at the moment.. Will be interesting to find out and yes it would be great if we could go back to the farm gate. Have European friends and they are always saying this.

    • I wonder if the prolonged drought is contributing to price rises as shortages occur.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *