Farmers greedy?

News from Florida is the strawberry crop is being, in many cases, destroyed. As a previous post highlighted, fear of litigation and many places not taking produce keeps much food turned away from hungry people. Yet when prices drop to where farmers cannot afford to ship it to market they’re called greedy for cutting their losses and destroying the crop.

How dare farmers not go further in debt by harvesting – how dare they not risk their farm and future. There’s perfectly good food dumped by restaurants when it’s a wrong order – that doesn’t go to the hungry. The farmers should – again- simply suck it up and feed people for nothing.

I understand it makes no sense to many – if you want something for free it doesn’t make sense to charge for it. Farmers have bills too; with liability and other issues that consumers are willing to sue for many don’t let people on their farms to protect themselves from that. When there’s food you can’t afford to ship and can’t give away it’s a tough call.

Frankly I think better giving away than letting it rot. But if the farmer charged for it – needing the money as it is a business too – they’re greedy? The expectations of farmers at a different level than every other business is insulting and makes one wonder if all stopped farming for a year what people would do. If someone decides they get sick from those berries then would the farmer be justified in destroying the crop even with public insistence they get it?

No other industry works that way. I don’t at present have a vehicle – does that warrant vehicle manufacturers sucking up to give me one? Of course not! They couldn’t do that and stay in business. neither can farmers.

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3 thoughts on “Farmers greedy?

  1. Happened up here last year w/ bumper blueberry crop.

    Coming into end of season, processors didn’t want any more. They weren’t paying enough for growers to pick it.

  2. Hey Jan,

    It goes alot deeper than you mentioned.

    First, simple supply and demand says that the reason that the cotton was not worth anything is because there was no low demand. If their was people that needed it then there would have been a market.

    Second, Quite frankly, farmes have very high overhead, and to spend extra money to harvest and ship a crop that is not worth anything would most likely put them under, resulting in less farmers. Of course if the government really felt that there where people out their that needed these products they could always subsidize the farmer for the extra cost he would incur, but last time I checked over 2/3’s of the farm bill’s budget goes to fund programs that ensure food and clothing for Americas’s poor.

    Seems to me our forefathers wanted us to be a capitalist society, but everyday we become closer and closer to socialism.

    • Thanks for those points! It’s the overhead & cost to harvest/ship that people don’t see.

      Good point James on the blueberries too – it seems every ag product has shortages & bumper crops from the family garden to bigger farms with hundreds of acres. It’s easy to criticize but have heard many gardeners turned down for donating produce extra from the garden…yet farmers are criticized.

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