Originally published in the May 4, 2020 edition of Agri-News
Consumer Corner’s look at the rising cost of food – a main concern of Canadian consumers for a number of years – is now online.
The report looks at what has affected food price trends up to the end of 2019.
“Long and short-term food price trends show some notable and impactful moments in Canada’s food price history,” says Jeewani Fernando, provincial consumer market analyst with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry.
She adds that a notable trend of increasing food prices between 2007 and 2012 followed a global economic slow down.
“No single factor explains why the increase in food prices was global and widespread. Higher food prices were a result of a number of interrelated and complex factors. Some of those potential drivers included a general increase in global demand, low international stockpiles, higher inputs, adverse weather and export bans.”
Short-term trends that affected food prices included a beef price shock in 2015, the diafiltered – ultrafiltered – milk loophole in imports, U.S. imports of fresh fruits and vegetables and the revelation in 2018 of the bread price-fixing scandal.
“These significant events illustrate potential vulnerabilities of Canada’s food sector and the volatility of food prices,” she explains. “It also shows that industry and government are limited in their ability to be proactive and take action to stabilize food prices.”
“However, the insights in this report may be useful for Alberta food businesses when developing strategy and for consumers who are concerned about rising food costs, especially in our current climate.”
Read Consumer Corner’s Food price trends (PDF, 696 KB).