UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Professor Taylor Quoted in Fortune Magazine Article 'The Real Cost of Cheap Groceries'

Jan. 15, 2019

UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics Professor and Vice Chair J. Edward Taylor is quoted in Fortune magazine's article, "The Real Cost of Cheap Groceries."

The article focuses on produce pickers in Texas's Rio Grande Valley, their low pay, often foreign-born heritage, and how they talk about laboring in the fields so their children can stay in school in order to have the opportunity to find a different job.

"Workers move out of agriculture typically as soon as they can," Professor Taylor is quoted as saying.

The article further references Dr. Taylor's research, and how the high demand for farm labor vs. the available workforce has led to a 10.4 percent increase in farmworker pay between 2014 and 2018 vs. a 3.5 percent increase during the same time period for similar jobs outside of farming. However, the pressure on farmers from retailers to keep groceries as cheap as Americans demand still presents wage issues.

"Farmers are being squeezed at the top by the folks they're selling to," Professor Taylor is quoted in the article. "And that pressure gets passed down the chain."

Click here to read the article.


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