Today's discussion:

Want more affordable groceries? Stop focusing on retail stores

Complex issues do not tend to lend themselves to the silver bullets and acting on comprehensive solutions can be much harder. It remains to be seen whether the government thinks the impact of high food prices is serious enough to warrant more serious action.

Read article

Comments (23)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please wait...
Your comment has been posted and should appear immediately.
You comment has been received but needs to be moderated before it appears.
Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again or contact us for help.

This is nonsense. Why is it that everyone thinks the governments control prices?

All I hear today is that prices are going up everywhere. What’s the government going to do about it. The market has always been the same, “Whatever the market will bear.” Vendors set prices based on this premise. When grocers decide to change prices, it is the consumers who will determine the success of their increase by how willing they are to accept the increase. When home prices are increasing, it’s because, that’s what the market will bear. When gas prices go up it’s the consumer who must decide how much they drive. It goes the same with every good or service we buy.

The consumer needs to understand that if they continue to pay the prices and support the increases, the increases will continue, unless a threshold is reached. If products and services are not selling, vendors will respond.

We vote strongest and loudest with our pocketbooks, not our ballots.

6th October 2023 at 9:25 am
Rob Tyrrell

“If products and services are not selling, vendors will respond.”
Assuming a functioning and healthy market, this may be fine for running shoes and gym memberships. It is not fine for shelter and food.

6th October 2023 at 10:10 am

government intervention results in cost adding matters such as the requirement for French on labels. Even in Quebec this is superfluous

6th October 2023 at 7:58 am
Bruce Westmoreland

The best way for the government to lower food prices is to get out of its own way. How they cannot see their carbon pricing policy is the main factor that behooves me. Now they will take that money to create more bureaucracy and probably achieve nothing. Or even higher prices.

6th October 2023 at 7:55 am
Rob Tyrrell

What is your source/reason/data for asserting that “…carbon pricing policy is the main factor…”?

6th October 2023 at 8:40 am
Grace Zwart

It starts with the farmer having to pay higher fuel costs and fertilizer costs, increased trucking costs due to fuel costs and increased production costs across the spectrum before it reaches the shelves at the grocery store.

7th October 2023 at 7:11 am
Remi van Wermeskerken

First thing the government should do is let Trudeau pay for his own groceries instead of letting him charge around $12,000 monthly to taxpayers.
And while we’re at it, have him stop flying government planes around for himself. I thought he cares for the environment??? There are other ways to have meetings that don’t cost a cent and no need to travel.
And while we’re at it, let’s turn off the AC and heat to Trudeau’s homes and offices so he can experience what many Canadians experience now.

6th October 2023 at 11:21 am

How does this comment have anything to do with retail food costs?

6th October 2023 at 12:10 pm
Rob Tyrrell

While you are at it, did you read the article and have any subsequent non-PM Trudeau related thoughts on it, or the wider issue and possible Federal government responses to it?

6th October 2023 at 11:50 am
Gail Tomashewsi

A long winded article with many words but all of little substance. Considering you work for the current federal government how could it be any different?
You never mentioned the punishing carbon tax on farmers or the federal government telling western farmers what they can and cannot use to grow crops which is the beginning of the food chain.
Are you exempt from all the liberal taxes and regulations imposed on the west? It certainly appears that way.
It will be interesting if you reply.

6th October 2023 at 9:10 am

This rant is typical of the poor mes

6th October 2023 at 12:14 pm
S Crete

Yes of course it is!!! And completely true. Why do you think that identifying the poor is any argument at all???? If you are not part of the poor then you are most likely living off the backs of the poor because most workers are poor compared to the parasite level of economics

7th October 2023 at 12:52 pm
Michael F

The author of this article is a farmer and member of an agricultural policy research entity. It says nowhere that he is a liberal, a politician or a member of the federal beaurcracy. Yet another example of the victim culture in western Canada.

6th October 2023 at 9:38 am
Rob Tyrrell

It certainly is odd to not have current Canadian ‘carbon pricing’ mentioned in an article in which suggestion #1 was to produce a “…detailed analysis on food inflation drivers along the value chain” and #2 “…examination of systemic issues…” of which taxes (revenue) was one item mentioned.

Earlier in the article it was acknowledged that increased margins are a factor so it is not like the article wasn’t concerned with mentioning presumed factors, rather than just the actions government should take.

6th October 2023 at 9:24 am

Folks bear in mind that the carbon tax does not apply to on-farm fuel use and that exemption is now being extended to grain drying and barn heating after a few years of farmer lobbying. But the energy needs of the gate-to-plate food system are huge and hence the carbon footprint of the system is also huge. Meanwhile putting a price on carbon is creating a whole new opportunity for farmers to earn and sell carbon credits in regulated and unregulated carbon markets based on practices that sequester carbon. But back to food prices – Tyler covers all the factors but is perhaps too diplomatic in skipping over supply management. If we thought grocery retailing practices are anti-competirive, what about the dairy, chicken and egg cartels that are given an explicit exemption from the Competition Act! And despite food inflation we still seem to tolerate an extraordinary level of food (and water) waste in this country.

6th October 2023 at 1:03 pm
Michael F

The BOC recently released analysis showing that the carbon tax has had a quite small effect on food prices or inflation in general.

6th October 2023 at 12:45 pm

I listened to a food economist yesterday on Power and Politics. He made some good points one of which is that the government cannot be held responsible for growing food prices. There are many reasons among them the war in the Ukraine, the climate crisis and the supply chain. As he spoke I thought these are valid reasons but the grocery stores continually increased their prices as the crisis continued instead of trying to keep prices down. No one would go into business to lose money but the profit these companies made is unconscionable.
I don’t think the government can do much to alleviate the food crisis but at least they are trying something. The NDP may have an idea using a windfall to encourage grocery chains to keep prices stable as long as that tax doesn’t get passed on to the consumer. The Con are not genuine when they trash the government’s idea but offer nothing in return. They know there is little governments can do and Canada ranks 2nd in the world with low food prices. The Con ideology has always been and will always be let the market works itself out. It is easy to condemn and sadly, this is all Pierre Poilievre seems to be able to do.
Consumers have it within their power to change prices with their spending habits. I grew up in tough times and my parents bought only what they needed ad even then we had to do without some necessities. We did without, wore hand me downs, and learned the value of a nickel. We didn’t throw out much and my mother knew how to stretch food. I sometimes think that people today have had too much for too long. Knowing how to do without is a lost art. Looking for a deal on potato chips is ludicrous and not necessary. I know there are some who are really hurting and government and political parties have to come together to solve the situation. Only dialogue above and beyond partisan politics will serve Canadians.

6th October 2023 at 9:38 am

Consumer education needs to be top priority most people dont know the difference between between garbage and food, nor do they have a clue as to what in season means, and how that can save them money. As I look at the cost analysis, it is sad to see such a miniscule amount of applying to the agri cost. If consumers had access to direct purchasing.. the savings would be huge.

6th October 2023 at 12:09 pm

Since the government drew a line in the sand for grocers to toe by Thanksgiving and this article speaks supply chain task forces, has anyone asked turkey framers what price they sell their turkeys to the grower? We would at least know the the markup. The real cost to consumers is costs to the farmer for all the inputs. Feed, fuel, housing and his markup for profit. Then there is slaughtering and refrigeration and the birds have yet to be delivered to the grocers’ stores.

Think of all the business, land taxes, carbon dioxide taxes, growing and harvesting the feed as well as the hatcheries required before a turkey begins the journey to the Thanksgiving table.

The simple minds of Champagne and Trudeau with their incontinent spending and ridiculous tax policies have created inflation for which they are clueless to resolve, led them to their grocery gambit to unfairly stigmatize the grocers as the root cause of pricey groceries. As I said, simple, and let me add, insufferable.

6th October 2023 at 5:04 pm
Michael F

Partisan drivel. Top economists from across the political spectrum support a carbon tax.

One of many articles.

6th October 2023 at 6:02 pm
Kerry Boon

Get rid of carbon taxes, will lower production and transportation of goods and allow room for lowering costs for producers and delivery of products.
Also merchants are leveling prices; maybe they were involved in price gauging if not how can they level off without jeopardizing their bottom line.
They must be doing this for their love of the consumer .

6th October 2023 at 11:09 am
Stephenie Crate

Well I was a Hub supporter until I saw you hating on the CBC which I love and listen to all my life. I encourage you to have a less urban centric view. For Northern and rural folk, CBC holds the country together with news, various music, stories, opinion pieces, locally relevant info etc. We love our CBC Radio and our CBC News TV channel in particular!!!! Listening to CBC radio at work entertains while pushing papers about. If you don’t like what is being discussed or played you know that shortly, something completely different will be on for your listening pleasure. I support our CBC!!!

7th October 2023 at 12:46 pm

Grocery prices are up because of the taxes on food transportation and infrastructure. Point blank simple.

6th October 2023 at 6:09 pm