Canadians grocery bills paid for the year, say farm organizations
WINGHAM, ONT. -- The average Canadian family has earned enough money to pay their entire year’s grocery bill, says the Canadian Federation of Agriculture as they mark Food Freedom Day
"Food Freedom Day is the day, when on average, Canadians have earned enough money to pay for their food for the entire year. It’s one day later, than it was a year ago. Food has increased by roughly $300 per family over the year," says Crispin Colvin, director for Lambton-Middlesex for the Ontario Federation of Agriculture.
Colvin, who farms in Middlesex County, says food producers largely view Food Freedom Day as a point of pride.
"When you think of it, we’re basically six weeks into the year, and theoretically, all your food bills are paid for, for the year. That’s roughly $4,100 for the average family. It means, as farmers, we’re producing a lot of food at a very low cost, and efficiently."
But, there’s a really good chance Food Freedom Day will be later in 2022. Food prices are forecast to increase another five per cent this year, which works out to approximately $695 more per family, spent on food.
"The food inflation rate has outpaced the general inflation rate by many points over the past decade," says Sylvain Charlebois, Food Distribution and Policy professor at Dalhousie University.
Hitting the freezer aisle, starting a garden and cooking from home are some basic things Canadians can do to mitigate the impending rise in food costs, says Charlebois.
Still, Colvin says consumers should still feel really confident about the quality and value available in Ontario.
"We grow over 200 different products in Ontario that can be purchased in Ontario. That’s pretty amazing. We grow more products here in Ontario than another province in Canada," he says.
Colvin says Canadians should circle Feb. 23 on their calendar. That’s Canadian Agriculture Day, and farm organizations are encouraging consumers to make a 'local burger' that day - with local meat, cheese, bread and toppings.