Food Price Report

We’ll all be paying a lot more for food next year: Canada’s Food Price Report
 Courtesy of CBC…
The Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate steady on Wednesday, noting that record high inflation is showing signs of cooling down.

But that relief may not come at the local grocery store, according to a new report.

Canada’s Food Price Report, released Thursday, is an annual report published by Dalhousie University in Halifax and the University of Guelph that provides comprehensive data on the topic.

In the coming year, food price inflation is on track for a likely increase of between five and seven per cent — or an extra $966 a year for the typical family grocery bill — according to Sylvain Charlebois, the chief researcher on the report and a professor studying food distribution and security at Dalhousie University. For 2020, the group estimates that the average theoretical family ended up spending $13,801.

“It’s the highest increase that we’re predicting in 12 years, both in terms of dollars and percentage,” Charlebois said. “It’s not going to be easy.”

The report says dairy is set to get more expensive because of higher input costs for things like feed, energy and fertilizer, along with higher transportation and labour costs. The Canadian Dairy Commission warned as much in a report last month, saying retail milk prices are set to rise by 8.4 per cent next year to account for those added costs on the production side.  

Baked goods, meanwhile, are in for sharp price increases largely because the hot summer on the Prairies was devastating to wheat and other crops, the report says.

Some Canadians have responded so far in the pandemic by growing more food themselves, paying more attention to sales and cutting back on the more discretionary food offerings in the aisles.

As well, CBC News bureaus across the country have reported on an increase in usage of food banks during the pandemic, including among first-time users.

This story was first mentioned in Thursday’s CBC Morning Brief. Click the promo above in this newsletter to the Morning Brief for a daily setup of top stories.
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Patricia Dent

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