Created on 8/6/2020 2:02:17 PM
Mississauga, Ontario (August 6, 2020) — Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) today joined leaders across Canada's critical agriculture and food sectors, raising alarm about the devastating impact of arbitrary fees imposed unilaterally by some of Canada's large grocery retailers.
Michael Graydon, Chief Executive Officer of FCPC, welcomed the powerful joint statement and commented:
"You don't need to look further than dominant grocery chains' public earnings statements to see that Canada's Big 3 grocers' profit margins are as much as double that of a typical food processor. These arbitrary fees will wipe out processors' slim and shrinking margins, and they will be nothing short of devastating for Canada's farmers.”
The joint statement follows recent aggressive moves by Walmart and United Grocers to extract funding from suppliers, despite suppliers’ warnings that the new costs are unreasonable and threaten the affordability and security of the nation’s food supply. More than 90 percent of food processors are small businesses, and the entire sector is continuing to grapple with the profound impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The imposition of these arbitrary fees is only the most recent example of grocery retailers’ using power imbalances in the food sector to their own advantage. FCPC has long raised concerns that Canada’s consolidated grocery retail sector and the high cost of doing business contribute to rising food prices, erode Canada’s ability to attract critical investment, and limit new job creation in food and consumer goods manufacturing, as investors find greater returns abroad.
FCPC joins the statement’s signatories in calling on Canadian officials to address these damaging trends and institute measures to ensure fair business practices in the grocery retail sector, following the example of the UK Grocery Supplier Code of Conduct.
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Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC) is the voice of the Canadian food, beverage and consumer products industry. We represent more than 100 food, beverage, and consumer product businesses of all sizes. Food processing is the largest employer in the manufacturing sector in Canada, directly employing nearly 300,000 workers in over 6,000 manufacturing facilities from coast to coast. We contribute nearly $29 billion annually to Canada’s economy and provide safe, high-quality products found in virtually every single home in Canada. For more information, visit www.fcpc.ca/foodisfundamental.