Farmer share of retail grocery sales declining

Farmers receive only about 16% of meal total, according to latest AFBF survey.

As retail grocery prices have increased gradually over time, the share of the average food dollar that America’s farm and ranch families receive has dropped, according to newly released American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) survey results.

“Through the mid-1970s, farmers received about one-third of consumer retail food expenditures for food eaten at home and away from home, on average. Since then, that figure has decreased steadily and is now about 16%, according to the agriculture department’s revised 'Food Dollar Series,'” AFBF deputy chief economist John Anderson said.

AFBF’s "Spring Picnic Marketbasket Survey" showed that the total cost of 16 food items that can be used to prepare one or more meals was $53.28, down 59 cents, or about 1%, compared to a survey conducted a year ago. Using the percentage of food consumed at home and away from home across the board, the farmer’s share of this $53.28 marketbasket would be $8.52.

Of the 16 items surveyed, 10 decreased and six increased in average price. Lower prices for salad, orange juice, shredded cheddar cheese, ground chuck, sirloin tip roast, vegetable oil, white bread, flour, ground chuck, deli ham and potatoes contributed to the decrease in the overall cost.

Price checks of alternative milk and egg choices not included in the overall marketbasket survey average revealed the following: $2.13 for a half-gallon of regular milk, $4.32 for a half-gallon of organic milk and $3.67 for a dozen cage-free eggs.

The year-to-year direction of the marketbasket survey tracks closely with the federal government’s Consumer Price Index report for food consumed at home.
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