The Farmers Share of Retail Food Prices March 2017

ONE OF THE PROBLEMS OF AGRICULTURE: LOW FARM GATE PRICES = INADEQUATE SHARE OF END-RETAIL-PRICE. Incredibly enough, doubling the price farmers receive for their grain would only add 5 cents to the cost of that 18-ounce box of cereal.
In a just economic system farmers would receive enough farm-gate income to farm in a sustainable manner – grow food free of chemical toxins and risky genetic engineering – pay fair wages and generate sufficient resources for new and young farmers to actually own the land they farm.
However, we’re a long long way from parity prices – ‘par exchange’ or a mathematically determined ‘fair exchange’ of farm goods compared with other segments of the economy. Currently grain prices – including organic grain – are low and below the cost of production.
This NFU monthly tracking chart graphically depicts a serious on-going problem for agriculture and helps explain the steady exodus of family farmers from a life of farming. Jim