‘Everything involved is way up’: Turkey price hikes at Seekonk farm not due to bird shortage

Business News

SEEKONK, Mass. (WPRI) — With Thanksgiving only a few weeks away, local turkey farmers and supermarkets are urging anyone who hasn’t already to place their holiday orders soon.

Roslyn Dickens, co-owner of Belwing Acres Turkey Farm, tells 12 News their phone has been ringing off the hook.

Dickens said their farm hasn’t experienced a shortage of turkeys, but they were forced to up the prices by .45 cents per pound due to all cost increase for the products needed to prepare them.

“The grain [to feed the turkeys] is out of sight,” she explained. “The boxes, the paper, the tags … you name it, everything involved is way up [in price].”

Despite the price hike, Dickens said customers are still placing orders ahead of the holiday season.

“It’s been very trying and yet our business is very good,” she said. “Around this area … some turkey farms are already sold out, so we’re getting the overflow.”

Dickens believes customers recognize and understand that prices have increased across the board, and don’t mind paying a little extra.

While smaller turkeys were selling much faster last year, likely because the pandemic forced people to limit their dinner guest lists, Dickens said this year people are ordering the larger turkeys like in year’s past.

“I think people feel more comfortable and they feel like they missed it last year,” she said. “So, they’re having the whole family and all the neighbors.”

Dave’s Fresh Marketplace, spokesperson Susan Budlong tells 12 News they’ll have limited supply of fresh turkey sizes.

“Last winter, they killed off a lot since they didn’t have the labor or grain to feed them,” Budlong said in an email to 12 News.

Budlong urged everyone to order as soon as possible to ensure they get the size and quality they’re looking for.

Back at Belwing, Dickens said turkeys are still available in all sizes, but she doesn’t expect that will be the case for long.

Dickens said like last year, they plan on asking customers to wait in their cars when they come to pick up their orders, though this year they’re worried about whether they’ll have enough staff to hand out all the birds.

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