If you thought your grocery bill was high, it’s about to get a lot higher. A new report shows that food prices are on the rise and set to increase by about four percent.
What does this mean for those feeding more mouths than one? It’s not good. The average family will spend approximately an additional $480 in 2020.
Trade issues and climate change are the leading culprits behind the price hike. Canada’s Food Price Report was released last Wednesday and stated that over the past decade there has been a slow inflation of about two percent to 2.5 percent a year. That number is expected to almost double to four percent heading into 2020.
All foods are on the increase list. The price of meat and fresh produce are expected to jump the most with meat predicted to be 4 to 6 per cent more expensive than 2019.
“The rise of plant-based alternatives does give optimism for meat prices by creating a new class of substitutes, but global demand for meat outside Canada will increase domestic prices in 2020,” reads the University of Dalhousie’s annual food report.
Tensions between Canada, China and the United States are also among the main contributors to the increase in price. The crackdown around the U.S./Mexico border has also slowed down importation according to Simon Somogyi, a project lead at the University of Guelph, “A truck that took six hours to get through a border three years ago now takes three days,” he told the Globe and Mail yesterday. Such delays have played a role in the change of price around fruits and vegetables.
“At the end of the day, we need to be producing more fresh fruit and vegetables here,” stated the report.
Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhouse said to the Globe and Mail, “Everybody agrees it costs more, but we don’t really know how much.” He explained how there are a variety of factors such as single-use plastic bans and the carbon tax.
More recently, the dramatic change in weather patterns has also made their research more difficult.
“Today, every single month there’s at least one product that goes up 10 or 20 per cent,” he said. “So the price of climate change, really, is unpredictability.”
Canada’s Food Price Report has shown a more than 80 percent accuracy rate across the last ten years of their predictions.