Sylvain Charlebois, Principal Director of the Agri-Food Analysis Laboratory at Dalhousie University in Halifax, told CTV News Channel on Sunday that food prices had risen about five percent since January.
“Now five percent may seem low, but for consumers looking for similar products, some products have actually gone up 20 to 25 percent,” he said.
When it comes to global food inflation, Charlebois says we’re probably in the “third inning of a nine-innings baseball game right now,” which will mean “several months of turmoil at the grocery store, unfortunately. “.
However, Charlebois says he doesn’t expect any extra innings beyond that.
Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem has warned of longer-than-expected inflation hitting Canadians. The inflation rate is currently 4.4%, down from 4.1% in August, and could reach 5% by the end of the year.
The United Nations has also reported that world food prices are the highest they have been in more than a decade.
Charlebois says everyone will have noticed these increases at the meat counter, where the cost of beef has risen by more than 50 percent. The price of chicken, he says, typically increases two to three percent each year, but is now 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 the average cost of a 500-gram package reaching $ 8.24, breaking the $ 8 mark for the first time.
“So it’s really a place where people were a little scared,” Charlebois said.
Input costs are also rising on the processing side, with items such as pasta and sauces set to become more expensive.
Last month, the Canadian Dairy Commission recommended an increase in the farm gate price of milk starting early next year to partially offset rising processing costs.
Charlebois says many processors should reduce the amount of variety in the foods they produce.
“So if you see holes in the shelves over the next few months, don’t panic, okay, relax. It’s just because grocers are recalibrating their brand portfolios, ”he said.
“It’s just that we are doing more with less. This is really what is happening right now. “
By 2022, persistent problems, mainly related to work, are expected to be factors that will continue to affect the entire supply chain, as well as transport.
“We pay more to retain employees, which is great news for employees, but you know the prices have to be adjusted when you’re in a high volume, low margin environment,” Charlebois said.