Some have made unfounded claims that a Grocery Code of Conduct will result in larger grocery bills. The evidence doesn’t support these claims. In general, countries that have introduced a code have typically had lower food inflation than Canada in recent years. For example, in the seven years since the United Kingdom established its grocery code of conduct, food prices have actually decreased by over 8% while Canadian food prices have increased by 4% in the same period (when adjusted for inflation).
In September 2020, DPAC commissioned Abacus Data to ask Canadians their thoughts on the current food supply chain. And it turns out, Canadian consumers also think there’s room for improvement: 79% of Canadians feel that having a small number of grocery chains competing results in grocery prices being higher than they need to be and a large majority of Canadians feel that our current supply chain needs intervention. So, how could a Grocery Code of Conduct address Canadians’ concerns?
The experiences of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia have demonstrated the benefit of introducing codes of conduct to address issues stemming from significant grocery retail market concentration. Grocery codes of conduct have brought balance to supplier-retailer relationships, improved competition in the grocery retail environment, and supported greater collaboration throughout the food supply chain.