(NAFB) — For every dollar Americans spend on Thanksgiving dinner this year, farmers and ranchers will earn about 11.9 cents. The National Farmers Union says that marks a slight drop from 2019 when farmers claimed 12.5 cents of the Thanksgiving food dollar.
Though farmers’ smaller share of food expenditures could be blamed on dropping commodity prices in previous years, it’s not the case in 2020. After bottoming out during the pandemic, prices for many ag products have mostly recovered. NFU says the shift can be attributed to higher grocery bills. In the last 12 months, the food prices have risen almost four percent, far ahead of the 1.4 percent rate of overall inflation. The higher food prices are coming at a bad time for American families, who are experiencing higher unemployment rates and food insecurity from COVID-19.
Even though consumers are paying four percent more for their food, almost none of the increasing dollars are being passed on to farmers and ranchers. Instead, the NFU says it’s being captured by the processors, packers, distributors, and retailers in between the farm and the table. For example, beef prices are 10 percent higher than last year, but ranchers are getting essentially the same amount for their animals that they did a year ago.
(From the National Association of Farm Broadcasters)