That Thanksgiving dinner you enjoyed just a few days ago, and most likely are still enjoying in leftover form, the National Farmers Union says farmers and ranchers made just 11.3 cents for every dollar that dinner cost. The most recent edition of the NFU’s Farmer’s Share publication compared the price we pay for the most popular holiday food items, and how much farmers actually pocket.
“While consumer holiday food costs continue to decline, incomes for American farm and ranch families are dropping precipitously,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “We’re in the midst of the worst farm economic downturn in generations, and we’re hopeful the Farmer’s Share can help illustrate that fact to the general public.”
Johnson said on average, farmers receive 14.8 cents of every food dollar consumers spend throughout the year, and more than 85% of food costs cover marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing. And, Johnson said that figure becomes more exaggerated during the holidays. Johnson added farmers and ranchers play the most valuable role in actually producing the food that is served at holiday dinners, yet they make just pennies on the dollar.
“The farmer’s share of the retail food dollar continues its gradual decline from year-to-year as food companies take in record profits and family farmers sell their farms. This is certainly not what the consumer wants, but it is what is happening behind the scenes of their Thanksgiving holiday.”
Johnson urged consumers to take notice of what is happening in the food system and supporting policies that benefit family farmers and ranchers.
According to Farmer’s Share:
- Wheat farmers averaged a meager $0.04 on 12 dinner rolls that retail for $2.29.
- Dairy producers received only $1.44 from a $4.59 gallon of milk.
- Turkey growers, who raise the staple Thanksgiving dish, received just $0.06 per pound retailing at $1.29.
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