Farmers Receive 14 Cents of Each Dollar Spent on Food

A decade ago, farmers received 17.6 cents of each dollar spent on food by Americans. Their share now is barely above 14 cents while processors, retailers, and others in the food chain take a larger share, according to USDA economists who have tracked the farmer-marketer relationship for 25 years.

The USDA’s data shows that a farmer’s share of the food dollar has averaged 16.4 cents over the long term, and the marketing share has averaged 83.6 cents. The farm share rises when commodity prices are strong and falls when prices weaken. The share fell below 15 cents in 2016 and was 14.3 cents in 2019, the most recent year in the database.

“For every $1 spent on food, only 14 cents goes to farmers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on social media. “Now is the time to transform our food system to create a fairer, more transparent system, so at the end of the day more of that dollar ends up in a farmer’s pocket.”

In the past, some analysts said the marketing share grew in part because of Americans’ preference for prepared and ready-to-eat foods, which reduced time spent in the kitchen.

Source: Successful Farming