Consumers are gradually walking away from traditional grocery stores.  |  Getty Image

Online groceries change retail business

One after the other, grocers are going online. All of them, at some point over the last 12 months, have announced some sort of commitment to an e-commerce strategy. Costco launched its home delivery pilot in Ontario, while Maxi, Loblaws’ discount stores in Quebec, jumped on the virtual bandwagon with their Click and Collect program. […] Read more

It’s sensationalist to argue that meat should be taxed like tobacco because tobacco is not essential to life and food is.  |  File photo

Meat is not the ‘new tobacco’

The idea of having to pay a sin tax for environmentally detrimental foods is gaining support. For some, eating meat is a sin, and therefore meat products should be taxed like alcohol and tobacco. A new report published recently by a British group called Farm Animal Investment Risk and Return Initiative argues that a tax […] Read more

The price-fixing strategy was not so much about getting more money out of consumers as about managing margins. Sylvain Charlebois calls it inexcusable.  |  File photo

Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers in price-fix scandal

Most Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught in a price-fixing scheme with bread-maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies Ltd. fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions of […] Read more


Federal tax proposals may bring in $250 million annually but the implications for the agrifood sector will be costly.  |  File photo

Tax reforms fail to understand ag sector

Until recently, two things were certain in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third one: botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communications disaster. Claims about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for small corporations have been ridiculous. Some […] Read more

Brazil in mother of all food fraud cases

Brazil, the largest exporter of meat products in the world, faces a food fraud crisis — and it seems federal authorities have been complicit. There’s a lesson here for Canada. Brazilian authorities recently announced they would investigate several companies, including meat packing giants JBS SA and BRF SA. The companies are accused of bribing licensed […] Read more


High inventories and increasing competition among food retailers is pushing down prices and food producers suffer.  |  Getty  photo

Cheap food challenges food industry

Making money in the food business isn’t nearly as simple as it once was. It’s becoming cheaper to buy food in Canada — prices fell in August for the first time in years in every province except Alberta. And the Statistics Canada data may indicate the start of significant ongoing food deflation. But while consumers […] Read more

Anti-Monsanto protests, like this one in Saskatoon in 2013, are indicative of the intense opposition to the company by some members of the public.  |  File photo

Bayer may give GMO new lease on life

Putting Monsanto out of its misery could shift future debates about genetically modified crops to arguments based on fact rather than emotion. Agricultural chemical and seed technology giant Monsanto is arguably the most detested company in the world. But Bayer’s acquisition of St. Louis-based Monsanto will likely mean the latter (or at least its brand) […] Read more

The Chinese government is encouraging its consumers to eat less meat.  |  File photo

China may wane as meat export market

China is one of the world’s largest meat consumers. It currently consumes 28 percent of the globe’s meat, including half of its pork. While the average Chinese consumer used to eat about 13 kilograms years ago, meat consumption is now up to 63 kilograms per person. These are staggering numbers, and if nothing changes, they […] Read more


Canada’s food costs not hard to swallow

Food unites us all and Canada is certainly not immune to global pressures affecting food systems. Food price hikes these days have no borders, or so it seems. Prices have gone up in Canada, but also in other countries. While summer is a great time to get reacquainted with our BBQ, it’s also a time […] Read more

Higher beef prices may force some consumers to switch to chicken or pork or look at non-meat alternatives for protein, says the author.  |  File photo

Consumers explore beef alternatives

North American consumers are starting to notice price in-creases at the meat counter. Meat prices in the United States jumped 8.4 percent in April from the previous year, while meat prices in Canada are likely to go up by five to six percent this year. Given that meat prices barely rose over the previous two […] Read more