Created on 9/15/2023 8:55:11 AM
September 15, 2023 — FHCP wishes to underscore the complexities and intricacies involved in the issue of food pricing. We believe that using taxation as a punitive measure on retailers, especially at this time, is not only ill-advised but might have a detrimental ripple effect on the whole food supply chain, including food producers.
The timing of this announcement is also concerning, considering that in a mere five days, on September 19th, new inflation data from StatsCan will be released. It is our anticipation, based on current trends, that food inflation will continue to decline. This anticipation is further supported by the fact that Canada’s food inflation rates remain lower than the majority of G20 nations. It is crucial to remember that global dynamics often play into domestic realities.
Furthermore, it is important to highlight the significant progress and efforts made by many across our industry towards a Grocery Code of Conduct that reflects our ongoing commitment to stabilize the grocery sector and manage costs for the benefit of all Canadians.
Food inflation does not stem from a single source but is a culmination of many diverse factors, including weather related issues, supply chain events and war related disruptions. Today’s announcement, which proposed a broad approach to a nuanced issue, may lead to unintended consequences that could hinder capital investment in Canada’s food manufacturing sector and reduce competition – both of which are critical for the health of our economy.
The federal agriculture committee and the competition bureau have recently proposed various avenues to address some of these concerns. We encourage the government to explore these initiatives further. We understand and share the concerns of Canadians over rising food costs. We firmly believe that a tax on retail grocers is not the solution. Instead, let’s work collaboratively towards viable and sustainable solutions that collectively support Canadians and the retailers/suppliers counted on to provide the many food products they rely on every day.