Turkey shortage impacting Upstate businesses

Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:17 PM EDT
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - At Tate Meatworks, Thanksgiving is already on the mind of owner Grant Tate.

“If you don’t have a turkey, real world, by the second week of October I can almost promise you you’ll be eating beef or chicken,” he said.

Usually, the butcher shop in Spartanburg gets 250 to 300 turkeys in four different sizes for the holiday. This year, they’re only getting about 120 birds in just one size and are already almost completely sold out in preorders.

An outbreak of bird flu has led to the death of millions of turkeys this year and in September over 500,000 turkeys were affected, according to the USDA.

The shortage is also impacting places like The SamMitch Shop in Spartanburg.

Over the last couple of months, the sandwich spot has been forced to mix and match where they get their turkey, and sometimes they do not get as much as the 10 pounds they typically go through in a week.

“It’s very frustrating as far as being able to plan for day-to-day operations. We’ll have to switch delivery dates,” said Co-Owner Courtney Whitaker.

While the supply available is going down, the price they have to pay is going up, putting the small business in a challenging spot as they keep their prices the same through the shortage.