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Wildfires, drought projected to impact future food prices

People can expect food prices to remain high at the grocery store, according to the Executive Director of Canfax. Brenna Grant explains the market analysis organization, which is a division of the Canadian Cattle Association, is projecting high food prices will continue with factors such as high grain prices and drought across Canada and the United States.

“What we are seeing in the consumer price data this spring is we are seeing more volatility, and I think that is maybe what consumers are finding most disconcerting is the fact they see prices drop one month and they are like ‘oh, it is getting better,’ and then they pop back up the next month.”

Grant says a lot of what people are seeing for pricing in the market currently is the result of circumstances from last summer, meaning events currently happening, such as the wildfires and extreme heat, will impact the price of food in the coming year.

“It may be six months down the road that we start seeing some of those things being priced in [and] for every commodity, it is going to be different. The time when you start seeing it for fresh fruits and vegetables is going to be much shorter compared to grains, which get possessed into flour and then into bakery items, and even longer yet for your proteins.”

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In August of 2022, a kilogram of ground beef was $10.70 a kilogram, according to a report from the provincial government, while prices to start off August 2023 range from $11.39 to $13.99 a kilogram in Lakeland stores.

Grant says once the rain comes, there could be an improvement in various commodities, with some responding quite quickly and others responding slower.

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