Canada’s rising food insecurity problem

Food inflation is on the way up, despite lower prices for other consumer goods. And COVID-19 has impacted incomes

Canada’s rising food insecurity problemStatistics Canada has confirmed what most of us knew already: Canada is becoming a hungrier place. According to a survey conducted by the federal agency in May, almost one in seven (14.6 per cent) Canadians indicated they lived in a household where there was food insecurity in the past month. In 2017-18, a similar survey…

Better get used to higher food prices

The food sector has never been recession-proof. But COVID-19 may show us that it’s immune to deflationary pressures

Better get used to higher food pricesDespite a negative inflation rate overall, recent Statistics Canada numbers tell us we’re in for a wild ride at the grocery store. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December, Canada’s Food Price Report predicted a food inflation rate of about 4.0…

Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19

Don’t blame farmers for euthanizing animals and dumping milk. The entire food industry is to blame – and we get what we deserve

Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19Millions of litres of milk are being thrown away, more than two million eggs are eliminated from the food chain, and pigs and chickens are being euthanized. There’s horror in the countryside. Throwing away good food when more than four million Canadians have lost their jobs is morally reprehensible. Farmers would be the first to…

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19

Providing comfort and good health, dairy products will be found in the middle of pandemic-driven consumer changes

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19Before COVID-19, the Canadian dairy industry was struggling with its image and its focus. For a growing number of consumers, it had become old and boring, and more people were hesitant to trust what was happening in the dairy sector. Farming communities were clearly not ready for the new attitudes and values shared by many…

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisis

COVID-19 has meant some shortages at grocery stores. But overall, the supply chains developed over decades fill our needs

Thank capitalism for your basic supplies in time of crisisEven as COVID-19 has put much of the economy into shutdown and caused a run at grocery stores on some staples, most of us remain generally well-supplied with food. That’s something to be thankful for. It’s one of the significant wonders of the modern economic system that most people, very few of whom are directly…

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteers

While artificially inflated retail food prices are possible in Canada at any time, it’s highly unusual – even now

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteersEven if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in…

No food shortage yet, but …

We’re entering a crucial period in the pandemic. So far, governments have kept trade borders open. Cooler heads must prevail

No food shortage yet, but …Access to food during the COVID-19 crisis has been a source of anxiety everywhere in the West. But the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, which means that anything can still happen. Panic buying by people in confinement has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains, as supermarket shelves were emptying in many…

Coronavirus exposes China’s failure as a socio-economic player

With more economic clout comes more responsibility. And China is failing

Coronavirus exposes China’s failure as a socio-economic playerWhen SARS hit in 2003, China was nowhere near the economic powerhouse it is today. Now, if something happens to China, the entire world is affected and the food sector is not immune. The coronavirus outbreak is proving that. Even though the outbreak is starting to slow, the economic damage will easily surpass that of…

Why are so many Canadians using food banks?

Even where nutritious options are nearby, poverty prevents many Canadians from buying groceries or making better food choices

Why are so many Canadians using food banks?Canadian households are paying more for a nutritious basket of food and rising prices hit low-income households hardest – especially those receiving government assistance. Food Banks Canada estimates that just over 850,000 Canadians use a food bank on a monthly basis. The ability to afford food is increasingly problematic. Average prices run as high as…

Food banks permanent feature of Canadian landscape

We have to find ways to make sure food banks are needed less in the future

Food banks permanent feature of Canadian landscapeFood Banks Canada's annual report paints a discouraging picture: more Canadians visited food banks this year than last year. The newly-released report says that in the snapshot month this year, March, 852,137 people visited a food bank, up 1.3 per cent from last year. While this year’s number is lower than the 10-year high figure of 2013, when 872,379…