So, you have made the decision to eat healthy, locally grown beef and you feel elated -- so you should! What does it mean now, when your invoice appears in the mail with TWO payees?
When you purchase beef in bulk from a producer, you're actually purchasing a portion of the animal while it's walking around the field. This is called "on the hoof." You and the other people in your buying co-op, whether you know them or not, are sharing ownership of the animal prior to it ever arriving at McDonald's Meats in Clear Lake for processing. The producer gets paid for growing the animal and transporting it to the butcher shop. This charge on your invoice reads, "one quarter" or "one eighth" or "one half," depending on the amount of beef your have selected.
After arrival, the animal is in the hands of McDonalds' Meats and therefore you are paying them for their services, not the producer. They receive your cutting instructions and use their facility to package and freeze the beef according to the regulations of the meat packing industry. Since the producer doesn't hold these licenses, it is necessary to have another vendor present in the process who does. The charge you see on your invoice named "processing paid to butcher" is a reminder that you will owe for processing in addition to the money paid to the producer. Once this is paid directly to McDonald's Meats, the charge is removed from your invoice, leaving only the payment owed to Mr. Darcy, producer extraordinaire.