NFU calls on Congress to again examine high food prices
WASHINGTON - National Farmers Union President Tom Buis today called on Con-gress to again hold hearings to re-examine the cause of high food prices. Congress previously held hearings this spring with many concluding high food prices were the resu...
WASHINGTON - National Farmers Union President Tom Buis today called on Con-gress to again hold hearings to re-examine the cause of high food prices. Congress previously held hearings this spring with many concluding high food prices were the result of high commodity prices. Since that time, however, commodity prices have fallen while retail food prices remain high.
"It is clear that contrary to claims of food processors, retailers and others quick to criticize agriculture commodities, commodity prices have very little impact on the American consumers' cost of food," Buis said. "It is equally clear processors and retailers are pocketing the economic benefit of declining farm commodity prices and reduced energy costs without passing those savings on to the consumer."
Last February, Minneapolis milling wheat traded for $19 a bushel, and a loaf of bread sold for $2.79. Wheat has since dropped to $7.63 a bushel, yet a loaf of bread increased to $2.99. Corn prices have declined by approximately 45 percent since June, yet corn-based retail products have not witnessed the same decline in price. Further, the retail price of one pound of top sirloin was $7.99 in May and remains at $7.99 today. However, cattle prices have dropped from $91.60 per hundredweight to $88.60 per hundredweight.
In a letter to leaders of the Joint Economic Committee and House Small Business Committee Buis said previous testimony had unanimously blamed the rising cost of agricultural commodities and renewable fuels for increased retail food prices. "This portrayal of retail food prices is finally being proven inaccurate by recent market conditions," Buis said.
Buis previously testified at committee hearings along with representatives from the Grocery Manufac-turers Association, American Bakers Association and National Restaurant Association. Buis urged the committees to invite the same witnesses to a new hearing.