Canada's largest grocers commit to stabilizing prices
Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, has announced initial commitments from the country's top five grocery chains to stabilize food prices.
In Norway and for that matter in Europe minus France perhaps, there is not good economic tone with price and wage freezes. The mindset is that it will only make matters worse further into the future. Costs are piling up and will eventually translate into even sharper inflation.
Canada is also not taking to price and wage freezes but is content to call on chains to take "greater responsibility", according to Grocery Dive, online news for the grocery industry.
Canada's Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, has announced initial commitments from the country's top five grocery chains to stabilize food prices, just in time for Thanksgiving.
"The cost of groceries has risen drastically over the past years, and Canadians are struggling to put food on their tables. Canadians are rightfully frustrated by this situation, and we are implementing solutions to bring relief to them," Champagne said.
"I will continue to keep a close eye on Canada's largest grocery chains, the food processors, and other industry actors to make sure that the price of food in Canada will be stabilized," he stresses.
All promises penance and recovery
Loblaw, Metro, Empire, Walmart, and Costco have assured that in the coming days and weeks Canadians can expect to see aggressive discounts on household staples, price freezes, and price-matching campaigns. The federal government added that if results aren't seen through these initiatives additional actions will be taken to restore food price stability.
The government also plans to create a Grocery Task Force through the Office of Consumer Affairs. This would be a resolute team that would strictly watch and take actions if grocers and other key players in the food industry unduly increase prices.
The team will also be tasked with investigating and uncovering practices that hurt consumers. This includes "shrinkflation" (where the size of a product is reduced while the price stays the same) and "dequaliflation" (the deliberate degradation of the quality and nutritional value of products to reduce costs).
Code of conduct
A Grocery Code of Conduct will also be set up by the government with the intent to support fairness and transparency among the industry.
Champagne says he believes that all industry players are responsible for bringing relief to Canadians, while ensuring that actions taken to stabilize food prices will not negatively affect food producers or their workers.
He adds that he will continue to work with grocery chains, food processors, and other industry actors to stabilize food prices.
Consumers doubt whether anything is happening
“There is nothing the government can do to control grocers and their suppliers. They are hoping they will act on ‘good will’. A poll was done recently where 80% of Canadians believe there is price gouging going on.
“Supply chain’ challenges are an excuse still being used,” says Ann Carina Watts, a Canadian businessperson and proprietor, in a comment to NHH.
“And who knows what they will do with the information gathered from the Grocery Task Force? It is obviously also a political move. Not only to let us know that something is ‘being done’ but also in response to the opposition: Pierre Polievre, who of course has all the answers as he is not in power.”
“I imagine that prices will not drop as it is predicted oil prices will now rise as a result of the nightmare in Israel/Gaza,” Watts concludes.