MP asks ag committee to undertake food cost study

Rising food costs, particularly for fruits and vegetables, prompted Quebec NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau last week to ask for a study about the causes and possible solutions.

She is a member of the standing committee on agriculture, and asked the committee to undertake the study. She said the members should consult with producers, distributors, retailers, consumers and all stakeholders, and report to the House of Commons.

“It’s not right that fruits and vegetables have become a luxury item in many households, not in a country like Canada,” she said in a news release.

“This study will be an opportunity for the government to find the causes of the problem and put forward solutions.”

Brosseau said Statistics Canada data shows food prices increased by 4.1 percent in the past year.

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University of Guelph Food Institute professor Sylvain Charlebois has forecast food inflation rates of two to four percent in 2016.

The lower Canadian dollar is blamed for the increase since most fruits, vegetables and nuts are imported.

The standing committee Feb. 17 meeting did not permit public or media access.

The NDP said no decision was made.

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