U.S. Fruit and Vegetable Industries Try To Cope With Rising Labor Costs

To produce fruits and vegetables in the United States, a human touch is required to sort, pot, and plant seedlings, train young plants and prune older ones, and harvest and pack the crops for shipping. That means hired labor is a critical component of the fruit and vegetable sectors. Labor’s share of the cost of production can run as high as 38 percent for fruit and tree nut farms and 29 percent for vegetables and melons.

A Disaggregated View of Market Concentration in the Food Retail Industry

The food retail sector has experienced substantial consolidation and structural change over the last three decades.

USDA ERS Food Expenditure Series

December 27, 2022 USDA ERS

The Food Expenditure Series is a valuable tool for government agencies, academics, and private sector stakeholders to assess and track developments in consumer food purchasing behaviors and the food supply.

Organic Dairy and Beef Producers Face Limited Markets, Feed Grain Shortages

Despite increasing U.S. consumer demand for organic animal products such as meat and milk, the total market share of organically certified animals, as well as of organic forage and feed concentrates, remained low between 2008 and 2019 compared with total herds and acreage.

Higher Retail Meat Prices Reduced Household Economic Well-Being During the COVID-19 Pandemic

October 6, 2022 Xiao Dong, USDA ERS

Retail meat prices rose almost 7 percent in 2020 as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic changed the economic landscape in the United States. Meatpacking plants were forced to close temporarily during spring and summer of 2020 when workers tested positive for COVID-19, while other plants had to reduce capacity. This disruption led to a drop in U.S. meat production and increased meat prices for U.S households. At the same time, restaurant restrictions put in place during the pandemic shifted consumer purchasing patterns toward more food at home, leading to an increase in the amount of meat households bought from grocery stores.