Are we too expensive?

September 21, 2020

We've recently had a question about our turkey pricing in comparison to Butterball and usually when one person is asking, many more people may be wondering as well, so we thought we'd take this opportunity to let you know exactly why we're priced the way we are, just in case you were wondering too.  :)

Rick and I spend a great deal of time working on our numbers during our office hours here at the farm.  All of our input costs are figured in, then our time and labour are added into the equation and the results of that are what you see in the pricing on our website.

We are simply not interested in being in competition with huge corporations like Butterball who is actually owned by Maxwell Farms Inc. and the Seaboard Corporation which "is a diverse multinational agribusiness and transportation conglomerate with integrated operations in several industries."  They produce approximately 40 million turkeys per year!  The turkeys grown for large corporations are grown in huge confinement barns where they live their whole life without seeing the light of day.  Where artificial lighting is kept on for 24 hours a day to stimulate the fastest growth their bodies can manage.  Where humans are replaced with robotics for dispensing feed and water.  The only human requirement in these barns is for someone to walk through each day and pick up the 'deads' - I can't imagine what a soul sucking job that would be!  Where every human who enters must wear a biohazard suit and mask so they do not breathe in the toxic dust from the barns or bring in any outside contaminant, for as you can imagine, being raised in conditions like these means that these turkey's immune systems are incredibly weak.  Confinement barn turkeys may come cheap but they are cheap for a reason.  When you buy one of these turkeys you are not seeing the hidden costs that are charged to the consumer in different ways.  The hidden costs are in the government subsidies given to huge corporate farms that our tax dollars pay for.  Or the cost to the environment caused by farms like these whose waste is pumped into waterways or toxic holding ponds.  Or the costs to consumer's health when long-term consumption of nutrient deficient foods results in nutrient deficient people whose weakened and vulnerable immune systems cannot fight off viruses like covid.

By comparison, here at 6S we grow our turkeys in small batches, we brood them indoors for 4 weeks where they receive fresh shavings for bedding, clean water, non GMO feed and fresh greens twice daily.  They are then old enough to be moved out onto pasture where they spend the rest of their lives enjoying everything nature has to offer them.  They are immensely curious and spend hours eating clover (that's their favourite), scratching into the soil for bugs and relaxing and roosting in the sunshine under the watchful eyes of our livestock guardian dogs.  The dog assigned to them this season is "Mack", (he hasn't lost a single one to a predator yet - good job Mack!)  We move them onto fresh pasture every four days so they always have a fresh salad bar of greens to choose from and fresh, clean ground to live on.  As you might imagine, the care and keeping of turkeys in this manner is rather labor intensive.  There is a great deal of work and care that goes into what we do here to bring you, our customer the absolute best and healthiest products possible!  Are our turkeys more expensive than what you'll find in the store?  Yes.  A small, all-natural, pastured based farm like us here at 6S simply doesn't have the buying power that huge conglomerates like Maxwell Farms Inc. and Seaboard Corporation do.  We cannot source our feed as cheaply or raise the birds as cheaply as they can in huge barns.  Nor do we want to raise our birds cheaply!!  We want them to live and enjoy their lives as naturally as they possibly can.  We want them to live like turkeys!

We can't promise you that they'll be price competitive with what else is out there but we can promise you that in terms of flavour and nutrient density you won't regret a turkey from 6S!  

Please also remember that while it may seem like a big price tag up front, a resourceful family can eat many meals from a single turkey.  Our family of 6 routinely gets a week's worth of meals from a single bird.  That draws the cost out significantly (down to approximately $18-$20 per meal). 

Purchasing products from a farm like ours is also not just about the food that you're buying, it's also your vote towards a different agricultural system than what we currently have in Canada.  As consumers, the most powerful way we can influence our government towards the future we want is to show them what is important to us by the way we spend our hard earned dollars.  Rick and I don't take our pricing responsibility lightly.  We work very hard to give you great value for your money (trust me when I tell you that we're not getting rich off of this farm! lol)  The price we ask for our products is what we need as a business to continue growing your food.

I hope this helps in explaining why we are priced the way we are with our turkeys and all of our other all-natural, pasture based products as well.  We're also very happy to invite you out to the farm anytime you're coming out our way to come and see for yourself!  We love welcoming visitors, giving tours and showing people exactly how their food is raised - no biohazard suit necessary!  :)

Thank you for being the best customers EVER!  And thank you for letting us be your farmers!  When we count our blessings this Thanksgiving Day you can bet that your names and faces will be on our list!

Blessing from me and mine to you and yours!

Joy

PS. We LOVE getting your questions & comments!!!  If you're ever wondering about anything we're doing here from production to pricing or anything in between please don't hesitate to ask!  Transparency in what we do here is one of the key components in how we run our business as a personal service to you!

Joy Stephens

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