Monday, July 12, 2021

Food manufacturers are squeezed

Canadian food manufacturers are being squeezed, resulting in a lack of investment in new facilities, writes Michael Graydon, chief executive officer for the Food, Health and Consumer Products Council of Canada.

Between 2010 and 2020, only 20 new food-processing facilities have been built in Canada compared with 4,000 in the United States, he wrote in an editorial carried by a number of newspapers.

A survey of the council’s members revealed that 70 per cent have no plans to expand in Canada and 50 per cent are planning to invest elsewhere.

He said production costs increased by 20 per cent in Canada from 2010 to 2020, but held steady in the United States.

Some of the cost increases arise from currency exchange rates with the United States, making it more expensive to import inputs such as packaging, personal protective equipment, ingredients and equipment.

(But the same exchange rates make imported foods more expensive,)

The COVID-19 pandemic also increased costs.

Graydon warns that if this continues, Canada’s food security will suffer.