(ORDO NEWS) — According to some experts, Canadians are likely to see overpriced food prices in local grocery stores for several months.
Sylvain Charlebois, senior director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told CTV News on Sunday that food prices have risen about five percent since January.
“Now five percent may seem small, but for consumers looking for similar products, some products have risen in price by 20, 25 percent,” he said.
When it comes to global food inflation, Charlebois says that right now we are most likely in “the third inning of a nine-minute baseball game,” which would mean “months of grocery turmoil, unfortunately.”
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff McClem warned that inflation will take longer than expected on Canadians. The current inflation rate is 4.4 percent, up from 4.1 percent in August, and could reach five percent by the end of the year.
The United Nations also reported that world food prices are the highest in more than a decade.
Charlebois says everyone has already noticed this increase in meat counters, where the cost of beef has risen by more than 50 percent. The price of chicken, he said, usually rises by two to three percent each year, but now it is up 13 percent, as are eggs. Pork has also become more expensive.
Statistics Canada recently reported that the price of bacon hit an all-time high in August, with an average price of $ 8.24 per 500g pack, surpassing the $ 8 mark for the first time in history.
“So it was where people were a little scared,” Charlebois says.
Production costs are also rising on the processing side, with commodities such as pasta and sauces expected to rise in price.
Last month, the Canadian Dairy Commission recommended raising milk prices on farms from early next year to partially offset the rise in processing costs.
Many processors are expected to cut back on the variety of food they produce, Charlebois said.
“So if you see holes in the shelves over the next few months, don’t panic, take it easy. It’s simply because grocery stores are redefining their brand portfolio,” he said.
“It’s just that we’re making more and less goods. This is really what’s happening now.”
Looking ahead to 2022, it is expected that the remaining challenges, mainly related to labor, will continue to affect the entire supply chain, along with transportation.
“We’re paying more to keep employees, which is great news for workers, but you know prices need to be adjusted when you’re in a high volume and low margin environment,” Charlebois said.
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