The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) welcomes the report released by Canada’s Federal Provincial Territorial Ministers of Agriculture which analyses fees imposed by large grocery retailers on their suppliers.

“As a supply managed industry, the arbitrary fees and penalties levied by large retailers create additional pressures for Canada’s dairy processors,” says Mathieu Frigon, DPAC’s President and CEO. “We have heard from dairy processors across the country that this is a pressing issue and it is good to see that FPT Ministers have come to the same conclusion. Now the important work toward an acceptable solution begins.”

In a letter sent to FPT Ministers of Agriculture late last month, DPAC and others across the dairy sector noted that large retailers’ demands of suppliers increase the cost of getting products to consumers and, for Canada’s dairy sector, undermine the principles which support the efficiency of Canada’s supply management system.

The fees paid to retailers is money that is not being reinvested in dairy operations, in employees and their communities, or in product innovations that consumers want. Like many food processors and farmers, Canada’s dairy processors are seeking a balanced and competitive grocery retail environment which benefits everyone in the food supply chain, including Canadian consumers.

DPAC is pleased to see FPT Ministers acknowledging that the relationship between large retailers and their suppliers is problematic, and that the scale and manners in which retailers’ fees are imposed can dampen investment and innovation within Canada’s food processing sector. As FPT Ministers urge all across the supply chain to work collaboratively toward a solution, DPAC looks to the extensive legal and policy analysis it has conducted over the past two years and remains firm in its position that a mandatory and enforceable grocery code is the best way to address these issues.

DPAC looks forward to working closely with the FPT Ministers of Agriculture to ensure that the next phase of this process creates the transparent and collaborative environment required for a strong Canadian food supply chain.

 

Related links

Retail fees in the Canadian food industry: Findings of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) Working Group on Retail Fees, July 2021