National Beef Shortage - The Reykjavik Grapevine

National Beef Shortage

Published March 10, 2014

Unlimited import of beef has been granted to work against a shortage of Icelandic cows for slaughter, reports RÚV.

Two slaughterhouses in Southern Iceland are short of 60 cows combined each week and according to Torfi Jónsson, an employee at Helli Slaughterhouse, competition for beef is fiercer than it has been in some time.

Torfi believes the shortage is caused by a few factors, “First and foremost, farmers get paid for milk, there is a demand for milk and they are encouraged  to [pursue] that. They hold on to the cows for longer and [cows] don’t make it to the slaughterhouse as they might under the usual circumstances. On top of that Icelanders are multiplying, there is a marked increase in the tourism industry and we need to accommodate the people who come to Iceland. All that contributes to the shortage.”

In the past, beef shortages have been limited to the summer during high tourist season but demand is now year-round.

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