National | Media Release

Gap Continues to Widen between Food Prices that Consumers Pay Retailers and Prices Farmers Receive

Saskatoon, SK — “The National Farmers Union (NFU) applauds the study undertaken by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food regarding food price inflation, and today we have provided the Committee with a brief containing more information”, said Stewart Wells, NFU VP of Operations and Saskatchewan farmer. “The brief clearly shows that farmers are not the recipients of the sharp increases in the cost of retail food.”

In the brief, the NFU presents a series of graphs that compare the farmgate prices farmers receive for their crops and livestock to the prices that grocers and other food retailers receive for the food they sell. These graphs present clear evidence to support the following three points:

  1. The gap between these two prices—farmgate and retail—has steadily widened over recent decades. Thus, while the current period of food price inflation is particularly stark, the underlying problem is a chronic trend that started long before the COVID pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and other recent supply chain disruptions.
  2. Supply management is not the cause of food price inflation. Price increases are occurring in both Canada and the United States for both supply-managed and non-supply-managed goods. In fact, supply management is functioning as designed to avoid drastic changes in food prices.
  3. The real causes of food price increases are retailers and processors taking ever-larger portions of Canadians’ food dollars. These trends are made worse by increasing corporate concentration, where a handful of large companies exert their power over markets.

“There has never been so much money in the Canadian food supply system, but there has never been a smaller portion making it back to farmers.  Farmers and consumers are clearly in the same boat, dealing with a highly consolidated processing and retail sector that can set prices to suit themselves and award enormous salaries to corporate CEOs”, concluded Wells.

Click here to read the full brief.

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For more information:
Jenn Pfenning, NFU President, 519-502-2582,
Stewart Wells, NFU Vice-President of Operations, 306-773-6852