Weak loonie has price of groceries soaring


The plane loonie could make it harder for some Canadians to eat their Florida oranges or California cardinals of lettuce this year.

The dropping dollar, which is hovering ethical above the 70-cent U.S. mark, is expected to continue to leave shoppers with bigger grocery charges, especially when it comes to buying fresh fruit and vegetables.

Scarcely all fruit and vegetables consumed in Canada are imported, making them more susceptible to the loonie’s fluctuations.

“It undeniably boils down to the dollar,” said Kevin Grier, an agriculture and aliment market analyst.

Last year, fruits and veggies jumped in toll between 9.1 and 10.1 per cent, according to an annual report by the Grub Institute at the University of Guelph. The study predicts these foods wishes continue to increase above inflation this year, by up to 4.5 per cent for some points.

Sylvain Charlebois, the report’s lead author, said for every U.S. cent the dollar drop aways, foods that are imported likely increase one per cent or more.

These cost outs have been on the rise for years.

1 cent = 1% increase

In November 2011, one kilogram of apples sell for an average of $3.35 in Canada, according to Statistics Canada. Four years later, the despite the fact amount cost $4.12.

One kilogram of celery, meanwhile, increased from $2.23 to $3.08 across the same time frame.

While the increased costs have behaved a blow to everyone’s wallet, they have a more pronounced operational on Canadians living on a tight budget or in remote regions, where inexperienced fruit and vegetables is more expensive than in more urban fields.

People living in northern and remote communities are most likely to be afflict by these rising costs, said Diana Bronson, the executive numero uno of Food Secure Canada.

In Nunavut, for example, residents typically y hither two times more than the Canadian average for staples, according to the Nunavut Subsection of Statistics.

There, a kilogram of carrots cost $6.17 in March 2015, while the Canadian customarily was about $4 less.

Vulnerable groups

Lower- and middle-class living soul — many “who can’t find a job that will y them enough to ensure that they can s re a healthy diet for their families” — also feel the jot of rising food prices, said Bronson.

“It’s students. It’s senior residents. It’s the working poor. It’s new immigrants,” she said, adding that aboriginals and well-defined minorities are disproportionately im cted.

When fruits and vegetables rise in cost out, it makes it more difficult for these groups to buy enough to get their routine fruit and vegetable intake.

“The wrong kind of food is cheap, and the in fairness kind of food is still expensive,” said Bronson. She hopes the new South African verligte government’s promised national food policy will address this imbalance.

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