US-Canada Trade War

Events occurring and how they relate/affect Anabaptist faith and culture.
ken_sylvania
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby ken_sylvania » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:34 pm

temporal1 wrote:
ken_sylvania wrote:
temporal1 wrote:Now years ago, we would go camping in WI. Lots of dairy cows/farms! It was a bit shocking to see the vast majority of homesteads had "Land of Lakes" signs in their yards! Regardless of outward appearances, most farms were part of big corporations.

These farms would have been part of Land O'Lakes, Inc. only in that each of them own a portion of the co-op and the co-op markets their milk. The co-op doesn't own the farms, cows, etc. 88% of farms in the US are small family farms, and 97% are family owned. I'm not sure how you conclude that most WI farms are part of big corporations.
thank you. i hope you are correct. i have no reason to doubt.
knowing this, i'm surprised the signs did not make a statement about the co-ops.
in my area, a different state, any type of co-op activity seems to be openly stated. so, i did not think of that.

Some of the Land O'Lakes signs will say "Member Owner" in smaller letters across the top, but if a person's not familiar with the setup the relationship might not be clear.
Many farmers like to hang out the shingle of the company they produce for, whether it's growing poultry or hogs, producing eggs, or producing milk.
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ohio jones
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby ohio jones » Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:37 am

Josh wrote:I realise what I am saying runs contrary to the goals of global capitalism, but perhaps we should consume dairy products and cheese made locally to us - in our own state or even our own town.

When I was growing up, there was a cheese factory in the next county, and we often bought their cheddar and colby at the local supermarket. Good stuff. A while back they sold to a larger food company, but not much changed at that point. Then they were bought by a conglomerate, who closed the plant but kept the brand. So you can still buy what appears to be the same cheese, but it's made in Wisconsin.

I understand there's a cheese plant in town that some of the Amish farmers sell their milk to. In an attempt to support local businesses, I went to the mom-n-pop grocery, figuring they would have some of their products, but no. I think there's an outlet at the factory, but how far does one take this? One stop for cheese, one stop for bread, another for eggs, one for milk, yet another for veggies, and oh yes, one for apples. I like the idea of local stuff, and if it costs just a little more I can afford that, but I can't afford the time for all that shopping. One stop a week at the hypermarket is almost too much already.
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temporal1
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby temporal1 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 1:39 am

ken_sylvania wrote:Some of the Land O'Lakes signs will say "Member Owner" in smaller letters across the top, but if a person's not familiar with the setup the relationship might not be clear.
Many farmers like to hang out the shingle of the company they produce for, whether it's growing poultry or hogs, producing eggs, or producing milk.
it's been so long since we've driven through WI, i might not recognize it now .. the signage has probably changed. in those years, what hasn't?
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Josh
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby Josh » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:33 am

appleman2006 wrote:
Josh wrote:I can get eggs at my local Mennonite grocery store for $1.69/30 (about 68¢ a doz.)

Recently at church we had a wedding and someone who grows for Case bought bulk chicken from them. Their price for thighs was 70¢ a pound.

That is not enough for producers to earn a living, and also those low prices are never getting passed to end consumers. Someone is making a killing and it's not farmers or end consumers.


I am not sure I understand. From the sounds of what you describe here the prices are getting passed on to the consumer. Not sure how you could go lower than 68 cents a dozen.


The chain grocery stores here are normal prices. Mennonite bulk food stores / bent-n-dents pass on the savings, nobody else does.

The guy who got chicken for 70¢ is a grower so he can buy chicken at cost. For regular consumers at a normal grocery store it's more in the $2-$3/lb. range.
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ken_sylvania
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby ken_sylvania » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:11 am

Josh wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:
Josh wrote:I can get eggs at my local Mennonite grocery store for $1.69/30 (about 68¢ a doz.)

Recently at church we had a wedding and someone who grows for Case bought bulk chicken from them. Their price for thighs was 70¢ a pound.

That is not enough for producers to earn a living, and also those low prices are never getting passed to end consumers. Someone is making a killing and it's not farmers or end consumers.


I am not sure I understand. From the sounds of what you describe here the prices are getting passed on to the consumer. Not sure how you could go lower than 68 cents a dozen.


The chain grocery stores here are normal prices. Mennonite bulk food stores / bent-n-dents pass on the savings, nobody else does.

The guy who got chicken for 70¢ is a grower so he can buy chicken at cost. For regular consumers at a normal grocery store it's more in the $2-$3/lb. range.


The major poultry processor has a special sale I think usually once or twice a year when they sell boneless skinless chicken thighs by the 40 lb. case at rock bottom prices. The sale often lasts for two or three days and they sell a couple tractor trailer loads of thighs. I would have guessed the price might be $30/case or so, with leg quarters being closer to $20/case, but since I don't do the buying around here the prices don't stick so well. :? :?
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mike
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby mike » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:39 am

ohio jones wrote:I understand there's a cheese plant in town that some of the Amish farmers sell their milk to. In an attempt to support local businesses, I went to the mom-n-pop grocery, figuring they would have some of their products, but no. I think there's an outlet at the factory, but how far does one take this? One stop for cheese, one stop for bread, another for eggs, one for milk, yet another for veggies, and oh yes, one for apples. I like the idea of local stuff, and if it costs just a little more I can afford that, but I can't afford the time for all that shopping. One stop a week at the hypermarket is almost too much already.


Realities like what you describe are the kind of things that create market forces. There will always be a client base for both the supermarkets and the roadside stands that sell one or two items and those in between. The people who promote local or home-made products can market their advantages such freshness or local-sourced which they can charge a premium for, while the more efficient supermarkets will have the edge on convenience and price.

The retail food economy is a fascinating topic to me as you can probably tell.

My store is in a rural area, and it used to be that we were the only food store of any kind in a 4-5 mile radius. However in the last couple of years, a family-run produce farm and greenhouse started up, and another local greenhouse opened as well. I have been curious to see whether our produce and plant sales would suffer, but they have done nothing but grow, while the other newer businesses seem to be doing fine as well. This year, yet another local startup family farm growing local meats and produce is partnering with us to set up in our parking lot to sell their products on a commission agreement. They will be promoting all natural produce and pasture-raised meats.

I am pretty sure that we can all survive and even thrive because each of us is offering our own niche in the market. The consumers in our area have a wider variety of choices than they used to. I think the variety is good for our local area.
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Bootstrap
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby Bootstrap » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:52 am

Over time, we have been spending a smaller and smaller percent of our income and our time on food. This is partly because our overall incomes have been rising, and partly because food production is getting more efficient and cheaper.

There's a good overview of this on the USDA site: Food Prices and Spending.

Image

Americans spend a lot less on food, as a percent of our income, than most countries. Historically, we have often valued cheaper food over better food or more local food, we have more efficient logistics than most, and we also have a higher income than most countries. There's a good overview of this on Vox: Here's how much each country spends on food:

Image
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mike
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby mike » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:38 am

This issue is the top headline on Yahoo Finance this morning.

Trump picks fight with Canada he's unlikely to win
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mike
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby mike » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:09 am

By the way for anyone interested in the key data on cheese prices, this is the go-to source for daily pricing on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange: http://www.cheesereporter.com/prices.htm

Archives: http://www.cheesereporter.com/cheeseaverages.htm

Looking at the archives you can see that the highs of the past 16 years were in 2014. You can also see the tanking of the market in the past several months.
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appleman2006
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Re: US-Canada Trade War

Postby appleman2006 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:58 am

Josh wrote:
appleman2006 wrote:
Josh wrote:I can get eggs at my local Mennonite grocery store for $1.69/30 (about 68¢ a doz.)

Recently at church we had a wedding and someone who grows for Case bought bulk chicken from them. Their price for thighs was 70¢ a pound.

That is not enough for producers to earn a living, and also those low prices are never getting passed to end consumers. Someone is making a killing and it's not farmers or end consumers.


I am not sure I understand. From the sounds of what you describe here the prices are getting passed on to the consumer. Not sure how you could go lower than 68 cents a dozen.


The chain grocery stores here are normal prices. Mennonite bulk food stores / bent-n-dents pass on the savings, nobody else does.

The guy who got chicken for 70¢ is a grower so he can buy chicken at cost. For regular consumers at a normal grocery store it's more in the $2-$3/lb. range.

Ok I get what you meant now.

I am not a total export on how large chain store do their pricing but I do know that they are not set up well for quick fluctuations at least here in Canada. And when it comes to staples they often have contracts booked out long in advance meaning they may not actually be seeing the immediate ups and downs of the markets. I am also guessing that if they are getting good deals that they are not passing on that it probably has to do with the fact that on some of these staple products they sell at cost or even less a good part of the time and so use these times to make up the for losses. I am not sure about that last theory though because I am guessing at least one chain would be taking advantage of that and putting on a huge sale.

What I do know is that the free market is largely on the side of the consumer when it comes to food. Margins are lower in the food industry than in any other. Based on the chart Bootstrap posted above, consumers have it perhaps too good when it comes to food. In fact as and because of some of the things I stated earlier I do not think our food system is sustainable economically as it stands now. 15 to 20 % would be a much more healthy and better rate of what people should be spending on average for their food. But for that to happen there would need to be some huge social changes in the way we live.
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