The Ohio Farmers Union today released a Thanksgiving version of the organization’s popular Farmer’s Share graphic which shows farmers and ranchers receive only about 19 cents of every dollar spent by consumers on their Thanksgiving dinners.
“We want to remind Ohioans to be thankful for farmers and remind them that 80 percent of what they pay for food at the grocery are costs added after grain, meat and produce leaves the family farm,” said OFU President Joe Logan.
Logan said these costs include processing, marketing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.
“These added costs take a bite out of all of our family budgets – consumers and farmers alike – at Thanksgiving and throughout the year,” Logan said.
“As our American food system has gotten more reliant on industrial agriculture and a relative few huge companies dominating grain and meat markets, family farmers are as squeezed as many American consumers by the cost of what’s on our dinner plates,” Logan said.
The Farmer’s Share graphic was created and is maintained by the National Farmers Union.
Among some of the more startling statistics in the Thanksgiving Farmers Share:
- Wheat farmers receive just 7 cents from the $3.39 consumers spend on a 15-ounce box of stuffing.
- Turkey farmers net just over half (93 cents) of the retail value for a pound of turkey ($1.78).
- Pumpkin farmers receive 25 cents, a mere 6.4 percent, of the $3.89 spent for canned pumpkin pie mix.
The Farmers Share is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report produced by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and compared to price points of common grocery food items at a Safeway supermarket.
“The Farmers Share is about so much more than just family farmers – we’re all part of a system,” Logan said.
Logan said recent events such as further international consolidation of the American beef, pork and poultry markets as well as uneven trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership do not bode well in the long run for American consumers or family farmers.
“It’s been a long time since the Farmers Share has actually moved in the direction of the farmer. It’s our belief that consolidation of agricultural markets has not delivered for consumers in terms of price, food safety or quality.”