Saskatchewan Examiner

Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Uncertainty is looming as food prices rise, as per the Saskatoon Food Bank

The looming food price increase is causing concern at the Saskatoon Food Bank.

Key Takeaways:

  • According to Stuart Smyth, an associate professor and research chair of the Agri-Food Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan, prices won’t drop any time soon.
  • Due to rising gasoline prices and the protracted conflict in Ukraine, Smyth expected that price increases will similarly persist through 2022.
  • In comparison to the same month last year, the cost of food purchased at supermarkets rose 9.7% overall in May, according to Statistics Canada.

Food costs continue to grow, so shoppers may anticipate spending more money on groceries.

According to Stuart Smyth, an associate professor and research chair of the Agri-Food Innovation at the University of Saskatchewan, prices won’t go low anytime soon.

If not double-digit hikes, then a rise in food prices has been witnessed in every aisle of a grocery store, according to Smyth.

“I believe Canadians will need to get used to paying more for food,” said the expert.

Major stores received notifications earlier this week from food suppliers about impending price rises for the fall.

Also read: Saskatchewan prepares for the COVID-19 vaccinations for kids under five

The second hike in milk prices this year has also been approved by the Canadian Dairy Commission. After prices increased by six cents per liter, or nearly 8.4%, on February 1, farm gate milk prices are expected to increase by about two cents per liter, or 2.5%, on September 1.

Smyth predicted that price rises would continue through 2022 similarly due to growing fuel prices and the prolonged conflict in Ukraine.

“Fuel costs may drop significantly if Russia and Ukraine resolve their issues. However, I believe that increased food prices are a regrettable aspect of our reality up to that point,” Smyth remarked.

These price hikes impact more than simply the family’s grocery budget. According to Deborah Hamp, director of operations and engagement at the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center, as poverty rises, donations are insufficient.

“We’re witnessing a steady increase in demand. We have reached pre-pandemic levels once again. She said that nearly half of the approximately 20,000 persons we serve each month are youngsters.

Due to rising costs, weekly food order purchases have increased by almost $12,000 per month. Hamp and the rest of the workers at the food bank are concentrated on maintaining regular operations until September 1, although some commodities will become more expensive on that day.

The forecast for the fall concerns us, she said. Without a doubt, (we are) making every effort to get through the summer.

A four-liter container of milk costs an average of $6.04 in April, up 54 cents from April 2021, as per Statistics Canada. In the same period, the average cost of a kilogram of beef increased by $1.63, and the cost of an apple increased by 70 cents.

According to Statistics Canada, the cost of food bought at supermarkets increased 9.7% overall in May when it reached the same month last year.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported earlier this week that the inflation rate for food consumed at home reached 10.4% in June. When Statistics Canada dismisses its consumer price index the following week, it is anticipated that the most recent data will reflect that percentage increase.

According to Smyth, we should prepare for future food price hikes over the upcoming months.

Source: CTV News

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