food prices going up

Food prices are going up in Canada and here's what experts predict for 2022

Prices continue to rise on just about everything in Canada lately, from gas to real estate, and food costs are no exception.

Food prices continued to soar last month with grocery bills increasing by 4.7 per cent this November compared to the same time last year, according to the latest Statistics Canada consumer price index report.

"Year over year, shoppers paid more for groceries, as prices for food purchased from stores rose at a faster pace in November (+4.7%) than in October (+3.9%)," the report states. "This is the largest increase since January 2015 when prices went up by 5.4%."

Fresh vegetable prices increased 2.3 per cent in November, with cucumbers, mushrooms and broccoli, driving the increase, rising 6.4 per cent on a year-over-year basis as a result of higher shipping costs and supply chain disruptions.

Prices for fresh or frozen beef increased a whopping 15.4 per cent year over year in November. Poor crop yields resulting from unfavourable weather conditions have made it more expensive for farmers to feed their livestock, in turn raising prices for consumers.

Sadly, experts believe these prices will continue to climb in 2022.­­

Food prices overall will increase by five per cent to seven per cent, Canada's Food Price Report for 2022 predicts.

The report, compiled by researchers from Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of British Columbia, predicts an average family of four will have an annual food bill of up to $14,767, an increase of up to $966 from 2021.

The researchers lay the blame on food supply chain challenges due to high transportation costs and reduced maritime transport capacity.

There were also labour force challenges, which reached an all-time high of 912,600 in the third quarter of 2021, according to a Dec. 20 Statistics Canada report.

Climate change also played a role with severe wildfires in British Columbia and drought conditions in the Prairies, affecting the prices of meat and bakery products, according to the report.

"In 2022, food insecurity will be a big issue as Canadians' grapple with rising prices," the report states.

"Food programs may face increased demand along with higher costs for food, and food retailers may see increased rates of theft. We will continue to feel the growing impact of climate change and the continued effect of both transportation and labour market challenges."

Lead photo by

Melanie Lim

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