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NDP calls for probe into grocery store profits amid high food inflation – National |


Federal NDP Chief Jagmeet Singh is asking for a parliamentary committee to analyze hovering income posted at grocery shops, insinuating that company greed or worse is inflating the already rising prices of meals.

Singh mentioned Tuesday {that a} probe is required to uncover the basis explanation for company income and CEO bonuses within the meals and grocery sector.

He pointed to hovering meals costs as different sources of inflation cooled as an indication of artificially excessive grocery payments.

Statistics Canada reported earlier this month that whereas the annual fee of inflation cooled to seven per cent nationally in August, the price of meals skyrocketed 10.8 per cent — a brand new 41-year excessive.

Click to play video: 'NDP’s Singh grills liberals on combatting corporate ‘greed’'

NDP’s Singh grills liberals on combatting company ‘greed’

NDP’s Singh grills liberals on combatting company ‘greed’

“We all know that that is an space the place households are actually feeling the squeeze and it’s the one space the place the costs haven’t began to return down,” Singh mentioned Tuesday.

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Meals costs have been on the rise for a lot of 2022, with many economists pointing to the warfare in Ukraine stymying provide chains on wheat and different staples as a chief explanation for inflation.

However Singh argued that if excessive costs have been solely brought on by worldwide components, grocery shops wouldn’t be concurrently posting sturdy quarterly income.

Metro mentioned final month that its $275-million revenue in Q3 was roughly 9 per cent larger than final yr; Loblaw, in the meantime, reported a Q2 revenue of $387 million in July, up 3.2 per cent yearly; and in June Empire Co. Ltd., dad or mum of Sobeys, reported a This autumn revenue of $178.5 million, up 3.8 per cent yr over yr.

“If it was merely a rise of value to match the elevated prices, we wouldn’t be seeing the bonuses and the file income. So that’s clear proof that it’s one thing past the comprehensible, maybe, elevated prices that circulation from the warfare or gasoline costs which have gone up,” Singh mentioned.

He alluded to the 2018 Competitors Bureau inquiry that discovered Canadian grocers co-ordinated to repair the value of bread as proof that the trade has engaged in unscrupulous practices earlier than.

Learn extra:

7 Canadian firms dedicated indictable offences in bread-price fixing scandal, Competitors Bureau says

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A report earlier this month from the Agri-Meals Analytics Lab at Dalhousie College additionally seemed into allegations of company profiteering by Canada’s grocery giants.

The report in contrast the year-end revenue margins of Loblaw, Metro and Empire Co. over the previous 4 years and located they stayed “comparatively constant,” leaving little public proof of so-called “greedflation.”

“It could look counterintuitive, however the numbers aren’t pointing to industrial abuse in direction of shoppers,” the report says.

Whereas every of the three grocery giants reported a leap in each revenue and revenues of their newest quarterly outcomes, every pointed to elevated gross sales of their pharmacy companies as driving the upper earnings.

Learn extra:

Sobeys dad or mum firm sees This autumn revenue develop as meals inflation nears 10% in Canada

The Dalhousie report did, nevertheless, say an investigation from the Competitors Bureau might “shed extra gentle on practices within the trade.”

Publicly accessible knowledge in earnings reviews is “inconclusive at finest,” the report concluded, with little info accessible on the influence of meals processing, transportation and affiliated firms on prices and revenue margins within the grocery trade.

NDP MP Alistair MacGregor plans to introduce the movement calling for a probe on the agriculture committee on Wednesday.

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Talking with World Information on Tuesday, MacGregor pointed to rising focus within the meals processing and grocery sectors as limiting competitors and selection for shoppers. He mentioned a probe would search to the touch on the function of company focus in meals pricing.

He mentioned his constituents in Duncan, B.C. have additionally instructed him they’re more and more being compelled to buy within the centre aisles of the grocery retailer — the cabinets lined with processed however sometimes cheaper meals — as a result of they’ll’t afford the contemporary fruits, greens and high quality meat discovered on the outer fringe of the shop.

Learn extra:

Nova Scotians altering how they store for groceries as meals costs preserve climbing

Too many Canadian households are experiencing this ache,” he mentioned.

“I simply need parliamentarians to get up to this truth and to actually delve into it, to verify we’re arising with concrete options to deal with it.”

— with information from World Information’ Bryan Mullan, Sean Boynton

Click to play video: 'Report finds Canadians are struggling to keep up with higher food prices'

Report finds Canadians are struggling to maintain up with larger meals costs

Report finds Canadians are struggling to maintain up with larger meals costs

© 2022 World Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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