Ottawa, ON – The rising cost of groceries continues to be a pressing issue for Canadians, affecting consumers and the growers who constitute the backbone of our food supply. The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) emphasizes that the government’s recently announced price stabilization measures fail to consider the repercussions on Canadian growers.
“We appreciate that the government is taking steps to address the pressing issue of rising grocery costs, by asking retailers to take steps to lower prices. However, it’s vital that we delve deeper to tackle the policies that are contributing to these hikes,” says Jan VanderHout, President of FVGC. A recent FVGC survey revealed alarming statistics: 44% of surveyed Canadian growers are selling produce at a loss, while 77% are unable to adjust their selling prices to match escalating operational costs. Factors such as the Carbon Tax, the Pollution Prevention Planning Notice for Primary Food Plastic Packaging (P2 Plastic Program), and the recent tariff on fertilizer exacerbate these financial pressures.
Quinton Woods, Chair of the FVGC Trade and Marketing Working Group, notes, “We are dedicated to ensuring that the complexities and struggles faced by our growers are neither oversimplified nor overlooked by policy-makers. We’re providing data-driven insights and realistic recommendations to address the immediate challenges and long-term sustainability of Canadian fruit and vegetable farming.” To that end, the FVGC Trade and Marketing Working Group has drafted a comprehensive letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The letter outlines FVGC’s concerns and provides constructive recommendations. Specifically, it calls for:
- Re-evaluation of the Carbon Tax, considering its accumulative impact on production costs.
- Review of the P2 Plastic Program, which places undue financial burden on operations.
- Reassessment of the Tariff on Fertiliser, as it affects both production costs and final consumer prices.
- A reconsideration of the government’s fertilizer emission reduction goals, acknowledging responsible practices already in place among our members.
FVGC is calling for the inclusion of both their organization and the wider agricultural community in any upcoming government consultations and decision-making processes related to grocery price stabilization.
Quinton Woods emphasized, “The moment has come for a more collaborative approach. Inclusive policymaking, involving all stakeholders, is crucial for developing balanced and effective strategies.”
The Fruit and Vegetable Growers of Canada (FVGC) represents growers across the country involved in the production of over 120 different types of crops on over 14,000 farms, with a farm gate value of $5.9 billion in 2021. FVGC is an Ottawa-based voluntary, not-for-profit, national association, and, since 1922, has advocated on important issues that impact Canada’s fresh produce sector, promoting healthy, safe, and sustainable food, ensuring the continued success and growth of the industry.
For more information, please contact:
Manager, Policy and Government Relations