It has been many years since the meat industry could look at the start of a new year with something more than trepidation. Will the economy take a downturn? Will protein prices rise out of the reach of the average consumer? Will some unforeseen controversy sucker-punch the industry when it can least afford it?
Unfortunately, 2013 isn’t much different: It brings all those worries. As of this writing, the national fiscal-cliff crisis has been (temporarily) resolved, making the threat of another recession less imminent. However, the nation’s economy is still on shaky ground. It seems cautious optimism may be the only kind of optimism available for some time.