While consumers’ holiday food costs continue to decline, American food producers’ incomes have dropped dramatically over the past seven years. This year, farmers and ranchers will take home just 12.1 cents from every dollar that consumers spend on their Thanksgiving dinner meals – which is even lower than the 14.6 cents they receive from the average food dollar.
Though most farmers and ranchers are seeing meager returns for the hard work they do day in and day out, contract poultry growers – who grow the main dish on our Thanksgiving tables – are among the most poorly compensated. Consumers pay $1.49 per pound of turkey, but only $0.06 will make it back to the farm from which it originated. But poultry integrators, who provide chicks, feed, medication, processing, and marketing to poultry growers, receive tenfold more at $0.62.
“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 for their products,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “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.”
Read more in the NFU release.