Record corporate profits outpace farmer’s share of food dollar

Wisconsin State Farmer
The farmer's share of the food dollar continues to shrink, according to USDA data.

Even though consumers are paying more for their grocery bills this Thanksgiving holiday, almost none of that increase is being passed on to America's family farmers and ranchers, said National Farmers Union President Rob Larew.

"Corporate profits and consumer food costs continue to go up, but the share of the farmer's food dollar remains low," said Larew following NFU's release of this year's Farmer's Share cost tracking.

The survey released to consumer cost of six Thanksgiving food items and the share producer's reap from the sale.

  • Turkey: retail price – $1.99/lb. Farmer's Share, $0.06/lb.
  • Sweet corn, 16 oz. frozen: retail price – $2.59. Farmer's Share, $0.44
  • Stuffing, 12 oz. box: retail price – $3.59. Farmer's Share, $0.13.
  • Boneless ham, 2 lb.: retail price – $12.98. Farmer's Share, $1.00.
  • Mashed Potatoes, 5 lb. bag: retail price – $5.99. Farmer's Share, $1.30.
  • Apple pie filling, 21 oz. can: retail price – $4.99. Farmer's Share, $1.03/lb.

"Thanksgiving is a time of family and community, often centered around food, but thanks to price gouging by corporate monopolies in the food system, that meal is getting increasingly difficult to afford," Larew said in a news release. "NFU will continue to push back against harmful anti-competitive practices and for policies that bring fairness to farmers and consumers alike."

Larew says multiple waves of mergers and acquisitions during the last several decades have resulted in agriculture and food supply chains that are not only uncompetitive and fragile but also underpay farmers.

Farmer's Share data is derived from USDA, NASS "Agricultural Prices". Retail prices based on Washington D.C. based Safeway locations.