Farm share of fresh vegetable retail prices fluctuates around 25 percent

A chart showing the farm share for fresh vegetables in years 2000 to 2010.

The value added by food processors, distributors, retailers, and other providers of marketing and distribution services can account for a substantial portion of a food's retail price. ERS compares prices paid by consumers with those received by farmers to determine the farm share of the retail price for many agricultural commodities, including a basket of 16 commonly-purchased fresh vegetables. The farm shares for potatoes, onions, carrots, and tomatoes have a greater impact on the basket's farm share, owing to the relatively larger quantities purchased by American households. The farm share for the fresh vegetable basket rose slightly from 25 percent in 2009 to 26 percent in 2010. Higher farm prices for onions and tomatoes more than offset lower farm prices for broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, Romaine lettuce, and sweet corn. Since 2000, the farm share of the retail price for the fresh vegetable basket has fluctuated between 23 and 28 percent. This chart appeared in the March 2012 Vegetables and Pulses Outlook, VGS-349.

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