Friday, June 8, 2012

Farmers Day

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Happy Farmers Day.  Back when we were kids this meant that we had a day off of school and often it would also be the local 4H Achievement day.  Now it is hardly recognised.  No parades, no special recognition to the one sector that makes sure that we have food to put on our tables each day.  Canadians should be thankful for the relatively inexpensive , high quality food that they have access to.
Statistics Canada figures show that, in 1969, food ate up 18.7 per cent of spending in the average household. By 2009, that number had fallen to 10.2 per cent.
That 18.7 per cent level in 1969 put food at the top of the household spending list, ahead of shelter, personal taxes, clothing and transportation. Fast forward four decades — a period of time that also saw an increase in Canadians' average incomes — and the percentage of household spending devoted to food has fallen to near the bottom of that.

Although 10% of your household income is a lot of money, don`t think for a minute that all of that is going to the farmer. According to the Canadian Wheat Board, a loaf of bread that might cost $2 or $3 in the grocery store generates about 13 cents for the wheat grower.

In 1933, Americans spent 21.9 percent of their income on their food at home. Today, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, they spend just 5.7 percent on food eaten at home.
Compared that to the rest of the world: The United Kingdom 8.6 percent, Canada 9.2 percent, Australia 10.7 percent, Germany 11.4 percent, Hong Kong 12.2 percent, France 13.5 percent, Japan 14.2 percent, Israel 17.7 percent, South Africa 19.8 percent, Chile 23.3 percent, Mexico 24.0 percent, Brazil 24.7 percent, Russia 28.0 percent, China 32.9 percent, India 35.4 percent, Philippines 36.7 percent, Egypt 38.1 percent, Morocco 40.4 percent, Indonesia 43.0 percent, Kenya 44.9 percent, and Pakistan 45.5 percent.

So today if you know someone that produces food, why not take them for lunch or at least say THANK YOU.  For those of you that are the producers, take a moment to reflect on the impact that you have on families, locally and around the world. 

Tonight they may be eating beef that was raised from your genetics , along with potatoes and vegetable that were grown by your neighbors. 

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