Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff

The economics of pay increases in the retail sector are always weak, especially in food retailing, which has low margins

Grocers move away from ‘hero pay’ model for staff‘Hero pay’ is quietly fading away in grocery stores and food distribution centres. That’s quite the reversal from 10 weeks ago. The American-based Kroger supermarket chain, among others, even asked employees to return the extra money they received. It has since backed off. It appears higher salaries in grocery stores were short-lived. It’s not overly…

Better get used to higher food prices

The food sector has never been recession-proof. But COVID-19 may show us that it’s immune to deflationary pressures

Better get used to higher food pricesDespite a negative inflation rate overall, recent Statistics Canada numbers tell us we’re in for a wild ride at the grocery store. While the general inflation rate sits at -0.2 per cent, the food inflation rate is at 3.4 per cent. In December, Canada’s Food Price Report predicted a food inflation rate of about 4.0…

Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19

Don’t blame farmers for euthanizing animals and dumping milk. The entire food industry is to blame – and we get what we deserve

Food-chain cracks exposed by COVID-19Millions of litres of milk are being thrown away, more than two million eggs are eliminated from the food chain, and pigs and chickens are being euthanized. There’s horror in the countryside. Throwing away good food when more than four million Canadians have lost their jobs is morally reprehensible. Farmers would be the first to…

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19

Providing comfort and good health, dairy products will be found in the middle of pandemic-driven consumer changes

Dairy renaissance could follow COVID-19Before COVID-19, the Canadian dairy industry was struggling with its image and its focus. For a growing number of consumers, it had become old and boring, and more people were hesitant to trust what was happening in the dairy sector. Farming communities were clearly not ready for the new attitudes and values shared by many…

Pet shops have a better chance of survival than farmers

Farmers were naive to expect much help from a government that’s obsessed with city-slicking ideas

Pet shops have a better chance of survival than farmersThe Canadian Federation of Agriculture really set the bar high with its $2.6-billion aid request last week. When a federal program barely worth $252 million was announced, the disappointment felt throughout the farming community wasn’t surprising. The funds were indeed underwhelming and won’t be enough to get some of those producers to stick around. Many…

Canadian farmers need real help now

COVID-19 makes it painfully obvious that agriculture is largely misunderstood by the urban-centric Trudeau government

Canadian farmers need real help nowWe always needed farmers. Now, with COVID-19, they need us. Farming needs real help, right now. Plenty of attention has been given to the foreign workers program in recent weeks. The federal government and the provinces have done the best they could to mitigate the situation. But that was just the beginning. For farmers, the…

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortages

Packing plant closures can be disruptive and, for farming, disastrous. But they can be necessary to protect the public

The meat of the matter: don’t expect shortagesAs COVID-19 ravages communities across North America, many analysts believe meatpacking plants, where employees work close to each other, are the next focal point of the spread of the virus. We’re likely in the worst of it now. More than a dozen North American meatpacking plants have closed over the last two weeks, with at…

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocers

Serving fearful customers a big challenge for grocersRestaurants are hard hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Many won’t recover and some are already closed for good. And grocers, despite the influx of millions of new dollars, are managing unprecedented pressure points. Grocers are in a high-volume, low-margin business. The $80 billion shifting over from the decimated food service industry may have been a…

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteers

While artificially inflated retail food prices are possible in Canada at any time, it’s highly unusual – even now

Cracking down on COVID-19 profiteersEven if they really haven’t had good reason, many Canadians have felt food insecure lately. Access to food has been a concern. Affordability is certainly a close second. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, consumers have occasionally taken to social media to report inflated prices by retailers. Even though the accusations were warranted in…

No food shortage yet, but …

We’re entering a crucial period in the pandemic. So far, governments have kept trade borders open. Cooler heads must prevail

No food shortage yet, but …Access to food during the COVID-19 crisis has been a source of anxiety everywhere in the West. But the worst of the pandemic is yet to come, which means that anything can still happen. Panic buying by people in confinement has already demonstrated the fragility of supply chains, as supermarket shelves were emptying in many…
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