Tag Archives: Consumer

The farmers share of the food dollar has reached an all-time low. For every dollar American consumers spend on food, U.S. farmers and ranchers earn just 14.6 cents, according to a report recently released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. This value marks a 17 percent decline since 2011 and the smallest portion of the American food dollar farmers have received since the USDA began reporting the data in 1993.

The remaining 85.4 cents cover off-farm costs, including processing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing, and retailing. National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says the data, among other economic conditions, shows “we are in the midst of an agricultural financial crisis.” Johnson points out that conditions for farmers have been eroding since 2011, and “many have already made the heartbreaking decision to close up shop.”

In the past five years, the United States lost upwards of 70,000 farm operations. Johnson is hopeful the report “will open policymakers’ eyes” to the financial challenges in agriculture.

Threatened tariffs could hike U.S. tomato prices between 40 and 85 percent. Research commissioned by the Fresh Produce Association of America suggests that if the U.S. withdraws from the Tomato Suspension Agreement on May 7, and applies duties on Mexican tomatoes, consumer prices could rise up to 40 percent in the period from May to December.

During other periods, such as winter, prices for certain varieties like vine-ripened tomatoes, tomatoes on the vine and Romas could rise more than 85 percent. At the request of tomato growers from Florida, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the U.S. would end the current suspension agreement between the two countries.

By doing so, the U.S. would resume an anti-dumping investigation that could result in steep duties on Mexican tomatoes. The Tomato Suspension Agreement is an agreement suspending the antidumping investigation on fresh tomatoes from Mexico, which stops Mexico from dumping tomato exports on the U.S. market.