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What's the farmer's share of your Thanksgiving meal?

NFU says farmers earn 11.9 cents for every dollar spent on Thanksgiving meal this year.

November 18, 2020

2 Min Read

As you prepare your list of ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal, National Farmers Union has released its special Thanksgiving edition of The Farmer's Share.

According to the data, for every dollar Americans spend on their Thanksgiving dinner this year, farmers and ranchers will earn approximately 11.9 cents, according to National Farmers Union. This marks a slight decline from 2019, when farmers claimed 12.15 cents of the Thanksgiving food dollar.

Though farmers’ increasingly small share of food expenditures could be blamed on dropping commodity prices in years past, that isn’t the case this Thanksgiving; after cratering during the pandemic, prices for many agricultural products have mostly recovered. Instead, the shift can be attributed to higher grocery bills. In the last 12 months, the food prices have risen nearly 4%, far outpacing the 1.4% rate of overall inflation.

“Ordinarily, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with our loved ones and enjoy a big meal,” said NFU President Rob Larew. “But for many Americans, the typical, food-filled get-together won’t be possible, and not just because of public health concerns. With millions out of work and no additional government support in sight, the cost of traditional holiday foods may simply be out of reach for some families.”

Even though consumers are paying 4% more for food, almost none of that is being passed on to farmers and ranchers. Instead, it’s being captured by the processors, packers, distributors, and retailers in between. Nowhere has this been more evident than the meat sector; retail beef prices have increased more than 10% over the last 12 months, but ranchers are earning essentially the same amount for cattle as they were a year ago.

The Farmers’ Share is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and price points of common grocery food items at Safeway supermarket. The farmer’s share of retail turkey sales is reported by the Contract Poultry Growers Association of the Virginias, as national data on farm prices for turkey does not reflect the amount turkey growers receive.

The Thanksgiving Farmers’ Share can be viewed and downloaded by clicking the download button below.

Source: National Farmers Union, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset. 

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