A Grocery Code of Conduct for Canada

The current Canadian food landscape means five large retailers control over 80% of the grocery market. This level of concentration means that Canada’s largest retailers can aggressively and unilaterally dictate the terms of business with their food suppliers. These practices have shaped Canada’s food system in a way that disadvantages farmers, processors, independent grocers, and Canadian consumers. They have reduced investments in food production and processing in Canada, making the country more reliant on food produced elsewhere and decreasing our food security.

Large retail chains’ demands for retroactive cost reductions, the imposition of arbitrary fees and penalties, significantly impact the ability of Canada’s farmers, food and beverage processors to compete, innovate and invest in their own businesses. The high cost of doing business with major retailers limits the ability of small and medium-sized processors to get their products to consumers. For consumers, this means only being able to access a select portion of the products produced in Canada. 

This Canadian market situation is an increasing concern for farmers and food processors. As Canada looks to the future of its food system, now is the time to look at interventions that will support the kind of food supply chain that Canadians want and deserve. A Grocery Code of Conduct is an important first step.

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