Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday December 10, 2021
We’ll all be paying a lot more for food next year, says Canada’s Food Price Report
Sky-high food prices were one of many negative impacts that Canadians felt during the pandemic-plagued year of 2021. And a new report suggests that problem is only going to get worse next year.
Canada’s Food Price Report, released today, is an annual report published by Dalhousie University and the University of Guelph that’s the most comprehensive set of data currently available about a subject that all Canadians are impacted by: food.
As with everything else, supply chain issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on food prices and availability. Weather events such as the heat dome also didn’t help put food on the table.
“The meat counter was a big deal this year,” said Sylvain Charlebois, the chief researcher on the report and a professor studying food distribution and security at Dalhousie University in Halifax.
“It really pushed food inflation much higher.”
This time last year, the report was forecasting an increase of between three and five per cent for food prices, with a theoretical family of four consisting of one man, one woman, one boy, and one girl, on track to pay about $13,907 to feed themselves in 2021.
As it turns out, they were only over by $106. The report tabulates that theoretical family ended up spending $13,801 to feed themselves this year.
In the coming year, Charlebois says food price inflation is on track to be higher with a likely increase of between five and seven per cent — or an extra $966 a year for the typical family grocery bill.
“It’s the highest increase that we’re predicting in 12 years, both in terms of dollars and percentage,” Charlebois said. “It’s not going to be easy.”
As usual, different types of food are expected to go up in price at different rates, with dairy and baked goods expected to be comparatively much more pricey, while past culprits like meat and seafood will look comparatively flat. (CBC)