TORONTO, June 13, 2023 /CNW/ – Retail Council of Canada (RCC) is encouraged by today’s report by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food (AGRI) on food price inflation, the findings of which were markedly different from the surrounding rhetoric at the outset of the hearings.
The report makes it clear that multiple factors have led to this inflationary environment, most of them of a global nature, driving up input costs in the supply chain long before these foods get to Canada’s grocers. The combined roles of cost spikes for feed, fuel and fertilizer, compounded by supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, and climate events, have been the real drivers of food price inflation.
The report also notes expert opinion agreeing with what we have said throughout: that there is no “greedflation” in Canada’s grocery sector. The Committee declined to offer any evidence that grocers are profiting from food inflation. In fact, the very opposite is true – grocers work daily to provide food to Canadians at the lowest prices possible. And so, it’s not surprising that the report states that food inflation is lower in Canada than in our economic peers in the G7. This was reconfirmed again just last week in a study by Ubuy, which found that Canada has the second lowest food inflation in the world.
While we welcome the collaborative tone of the report, we would caution against increased government intervention in the operational aspects of the retail food business. It is a multilayered and dynamic business that works well for Canadian consumers, jobs, and investment – and there is no evidence to suggest that prescriptive government intervention would do anything to lower food prices for Canadians.
Retail is Canada’s largest private-sector employer with over 2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates over $85 billion in wages and employee benefits. Core retail sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline) were over $462B in 2022. Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two-thirds of core retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association that represents small, medium, and large retail businesses in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 54,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers, online merchants and quick service restaurants.
RCC grocery members represent more than 95 per cent of the market in Canada. They provide essential services and are an important source of employment in large and small communities across the country. They have strong private label programs and sell products in every food category. www.retailcouncil.org
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SOURCE Retail Council of Canada