This is the largest increase predicted by the Canadian Food Prices Report in 12 years of existence

Food prices are set to rise five to seven percent next year, meaning a Canadian family of four will pay $ 966 more for groceries than in 2021, according to the latest edition of the Index food prices in Canada.

The annual report is prepared by the University of Guelph, Dalhousie University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan.

The continuing effects of the pandemic on the food supply chain along with rising commodity prices are responsible for the largest expected increase, both in dollars and in percentage, in the 12-year history of the report.

“We are seeing a significant increase and we are seeing an increase in a number of particular food categories,” said Simon Somogyi, professor at the University of Guelph and one of the authors of the report.

The price of dairy products is expected to increase by six to eight percent in 2022, while the cost of vegetables and baked goods is expected to increase by five to seven percent.

The price of meat and seafood, on the other hand, is not expected to increase significantly, with a zero to two percent increase expected for these categories.

In total, annual grocery expenses for a typical family of four are expected to increase from $ 13,801 in 2021 to $ 14,767 in 2022.

Somogyi said these rising costs are having an impact on food security.

“Our salaries will not increase by five to seven percent next year to cover this increase in costs,” he said. “In 2018, the World Food Security Index ranked Canada 18th in the world, now we are 24th.

While some of the pandemic factors leading to escalating food costs this year are likely to level off in 2023, in general “the era of super cheap food is probably behind us,” Somogyi said.

Interestingly, Canadians actually spend a smaller portion of their income on food today than they did fifty years ago – 10 to 11 percent today compared to about 25 percent. in the 1970s, Somogyi said.

What is different is that the costs of shelter and shelter have increased dramatically during this period.

“A lot of our housing costs are cutting back on what we can afford to eat and that’s not good,” he said. “So it’s a long-term strategy to put more money in people’s pockets, which is to reduce housing and accommodation costs. Governments have yet to understand this.

Meanwhile, Dominica McPherson, director of the Guelph and Wellington Poverty Eradication Task Force, said with the cost of food rising, it is “essential” to consider people’s ability to afford it.

“Inadequate income supports like low welfare rates and precarious, low-paying jobs keep people in poverty,” McPherson said in an email. “No one should be faced with impossible choices, like choosing between paying for food, rent or utilities. “

“The solution to food insecurity lies in income-based responses and a change in public policy, such as a basic income and increased social assistance rates, which provide people with more money to meet their needs. basic, including food, ”McPherson said.