Last week's announcement by the federal government that it was working with Canada's largest grocers to stabilize food prices is a start. But it will take more than blaming business to bring inflation back to its target rate of 2%.
On Oct. 5, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said grocery store chains were committed to price stability. The government also moved to strengthen the voice of consumers, increase industry transparency and improve available data on Canada's agri-food supply chain.
Yesterday, an industry association representing grocers called for a pause on increases to the regulated price of milk. The Canadian Dairy Commission sets changes to the cost of milk that take effect every February.
"If government is serious about reducing the price of groceries it needs to look at cutting costs before products get to retailers," Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. "Government contributes to cost increases when it adds regulatory burdens and increases taxes. We can't expect farmers and other producers to pay for these extra costs which get passed along to the consumer."