Food and Agriculture Statistics

ES Webinar on Food Dollar


On May 14th 2021, the Economic and Social Development Stream promoted a webinar titled “The Global Food Dollar”as part of the ES seminar series.

The event was chaired by Máximo Torero Cullen, FAO Chief Economist, with an intervention from José Rosero Moncayo, Director of the Statistics Division (ESS). The main presentation was jointly offered by Chris Barrett (Cornell University), Patrick Canning (Economic Research Service of the USDA), Jing Yi (Cornell University), and Miguel Gómez (Cornell University).

The Webinar provided an opportunity to discuss work jointly undertaken by Cornell and the USDA-ERS on estimating the distribution of consumer food expenditures among farms and post-farmgate agri-food activities along value chain, disaggregated by commodity grouping (food, food and beverage) and expenditure categories (food at home, food away from home).

The starting point of the work is the Food Dollar dataset produced by the USDA since 1947, which focuses on the share of food value that accrues to farmers. A similar approach was applied to a range of countries over the 2005-15 period, relying on international standards and methodologies.

As shown during the webinar, farmers receive, on average, 27 percent of consumer expenditure on foods consumed at home and a far lower percentage of food consumed away from home. During the seminar ERS-USDA and Cornell University also presented preliminary industry decomposition and additional areas of research and implementation were discussed with FAO.

The main findings of this work are available in the following paper:

  • Jing Yi, Eva-Marie Meemken, Veronica Mazariegos-Anastassiou, Jiali Liu, Ejin Kim, Miguel I. Gómez, Patrick Canning, and Christopher B. Barrett. “Post-Farmgate Food Value Chains Make up Most of Consumer Food Expenditures Globally.” forthcoming

The webinar saw a wide participation – with more than 400 people connected. The presentation was followed by a rich discussion, which also touched upon opportunities for extending the approach beyond the share accruing to farmers, and to more countries where relevant data is available.