The Country Natural Beef cooperative said it’s having trouble filling orders because high prices are luring some producers back to traditional sales outlets.
The cooperative hopes consumers will pay a premium for meat raised under guidelines for sustainability. But the high price of beef generally has cut into the advantage the branded product enjoys.
Co-op officials told the Capital Press it has 75 full members and 15 prospective members. At one time the co-op had more than 100 members.
The cooperative said it has been able to buy cattle that meet its specifications so it can supply retailers — but that’s costly.
Adding to costs are added requirements from some retail buyers for new third-party certifications of animal care practices and sustainable production, marketing director Stacy Davies said.