AP Photo/LM Otero Amid concerns of the spread of COVID-19, a shopper wears a mask as she looks over meat products at a grocery store.
AP Photo/LM Otero

Phoenix residents are struggling to afford the rising cost of food, with the price of beef surging by nearly 15% over the past year in the metro area. You might think meat companies increased prices solely to cover rising costs due to the pandemic, but one look at their bottom lines suggests otherwise. 

Meat packers’ profits increased by an astonishing 300% during the pandemic, according to a recent analysis from the White House. This corporate cash-grab directly hit Arizonans’ pocketbooks: In November, for example, meat prices were the single largest contributor to the rising cost of groceries.

In December, President Biden ordered his administration to investigate the price increases and corporate consolidation in the meat industry—the top four corporations now supply over 80% of the nation’s beef. Biden also introduced an effort to provide $1 billion in financial support to smaller, independent meat processors to increase competition. 

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