The effects of the drought on your shopping cart

Over the next summer, many countries faced waves of droughts and fires. Canada was no exception, and many crops in the western provinces literally wilted.

As a result, the crops and grasses in Canada’s barn have suffered from the weather and the impact on the grocery basket is already being felt. Because, as required by the law of supply and demand, scarcity inevitably leads to higher prices …

More and more expensive

Canola is already trading at twice its usual price, as is barley. With wheat harvests 35% lower than last year, there is no doubt that the price of this cereal will also skyrocket. The same occurs with oats, which has seen its production decrease by almost 33%. As expected, food processors’ contracts with their suppliers will be revised upwards, which will necessarily have an impact on the price of processed products.

But that is not all. Beef will also cost 9-10% more, estimates Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Laboratory for Analytical Sciences in Agri-Food at Dalhousie University. The same goes for pork (+ 5%), while chicken is relatively stable for the moment. Because the price of feed grains needed to feed livestock has skyrocketed in recent months, which is reflected in the price of meat. The barbecue season is also one of the first victims of this boom, with a reduction in sales of up to 15%.

Last December, the Canadian Food Price Report for 2021, of which Sylvain Charlebois is the lead author, averaged 5% grocery basket inflation. The professor indicates that the forecasts contained in this study are still valid, representing a total food expenditure of $ 13,907 for a family of four, or $ 700 more than in 2020.

It should be noted that, in addition to the usual variables, this report took into account the consequences of climate change, but also those related to the pandemic. Because the health crisis has affected the entire agri-food chain, from the place of production to the consumer, through collection, transport and distribution. The devaluation of the Canadian dollar and the cost of oil also weighed on the balance.

If you have to deal with more expensive foods, especially processed products and meat, how do you do well in the grocery store? Cooking more is a must, but Sylvain Charlebois also points out that improving consumers’ food literacy opens up new horizons for them. Thus, vegetable proteins that replace those obtained from meat are increasingly popular. And with around 20,000 products on supermarket shelves, it’s up to us to find alternatives!

>> Also read: How to reduce the carbon footprint of your food?


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