2013-01-10 / Ag News

Farmers receive meager share of retail food dollar, NFU says

National Farmers Union (NFU) has released its latest Farmer’s Share report based on calculations derived from the monthlyAgriculture Prices report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) NationalAgricultural Statistics Service (NASS), and compared to price points of common grocery food items at a local Washington, D.C., Safeway supermarket.

“It’s easy to forget the true value of our farmers and ranchers, who in some cases are only making pennies to the dollar on their goods, while we’re at our local supermarket,” NFU President Roger Johnson, said. “Our Farmer’s Share report reflects the true value that our farmers and ranchers are receiving.”

North Dakota Farmers Union President Woody Barth added, “These facts clearly illustrate how little family farmers and ranchers actually receive out of the food dollar. No one should blame farmers and ranchers for increased costs at the grocery store.”

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service, farmers and ranchers only receive 15.8 cents of every food dollar spent by consumers outside the home in the United States. Additionally, more than 80 cents of every food dollar is spent on marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing.

Among the more startling statistics noted in the December Farmer’s Share:

Dairy farmers received $1.81 for one gallon of fat free milk (retail price: $4.19);

Wheat farmers netted only 20 cents of the $3.59 retail price of a loaf of bread, and tomato growers received a mere 53 cents per pound (retail price: $3.28).

“ The Farmer’s Share shows the consumer that prices may increase in the grocery store, however the farmer is not necessarily receiving extra income. This is critical information that every consumer should be aware of,” Johnson said. “It is also a stark reminder that U.S. family farmers and ranchers need certainty and Congress’ inability to pass the 2012 Farm Bill directly will impact their operations.”

NFU updates the Farmer’s Share every month—www.NFU.org/farmers-share.

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