Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Code of Conduct for Grocers: «  Higher prices and “empty shelves,” says Loblaw” /></p>
<p>Open full screen</p>
<p class=Loblaw boss Galen Weston told the committee the code could lead to price increases.

  • Cédric Lizotte (View profile)Cédric Lizotte

Voice synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from written text.

Loblaw and Walmart ask committee that drafts Food Industry Code of Conduct to grocery store to go back to the drawing board.

As the code is currently written, our firm belief is that it will force an increase in prices, said Galen Weston, executive chairman of Loblaw, at House of Commons Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-Food, Thursday.

The principle is good, but it x27;it’s the writing that poses a problem for us.

The committee met to question Mr. Weston and Gonzalo Gebara, CEO of Walmart Canada, about food prices. However, it is their comments on the code of conduct, which has been drafted for several years already, which have attracted attention.

While the principles of the code as currently implemented are sound, when you get into the details there is a significant risk of higher prices and empty shelves, Mr Weston said .

If Walmart and Loblaw are reluctant to ratify the code as it is written, other retailers, including the boss of Sobeys and the representative of independent grocery stores say they are in favor.

However, the Minister of Agriculture published a statement Thursday urging food giants to commit to signing the Code.

M . Weston insisted that the goal of such a code was never to lower food prices in the country.

Loading“It’s not normal that our network is managed by unions” – François Legault

ELSEWHERE ON INFO: “It’s not normal that our network is managed by unions” – François Legault

He added that Loblaw was an active participant in the discussions with the government on the subject of food prices.

The creation of this code of conduct was proposed as a way to resolve long-standing issues such as the imposition of arbitrary fees, cost increases imposed without notice, and late payments. The code aims to provide retailers and suppliers with a mechanism for how fees and fines are collected in the grocery sector, among other guiding principles, according to The Canadian Press.

However, according to Mr. Weston, the wording of the code must be reviewed. The code of conduct contains a set of clauses that reduce the ability of grocers to bargain hard against these [large multinational manufacturing companies]. Mr. Weston named as examples Pepsi, Nestlé, Kraft Heinz and Procter & Gamble.

Open in full screen mode

Giant Walmart has 8% of the Canadian grocery market, according to 2021 data. (Archives)

Mr. Gebara of Walmart expressed a similar opinion. We want to ensure that the code includes all the provisions and conditions necessary for us to conduct our business to offer low prices every day to our customers across Canada, he said. We believe that the code is not in a position for us to commit to signing.

Before the commission, Monday, the boss of Empire (Sobeys and IGA), Michael Medline, refuted Mr. Weston's claims.

Although we are ready, willing and able to sign the code today, we now have serious doubts as to whether the code will actually come into force due to recent opposition from some retailers. In no way do we believe, nor does the evidence show, that a code of conduct will result in higher food prices or fewer choices for Canadians. On the contrary, he then declared.

Gary Sands, vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers, told the committee Monday that the code is necessary to balance power between big players like Loblaw and the 7,000 small grocery stores it represents.

Open in full screen mode

Gary Sands is the senior vice-president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. (Archive)

We don't point the finger at our supplier partners, we understand the pressures that are driving up their costs, he told the committee . He said the code eliminates distorted market practices […] and onerous fees imposed by some large retailers.

This code is […] a set of principles of good conduct developed by the industry itself. It won't raise food prices, as Loblaw has claimed – no one in the industry would support a measure that would do that.

Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food André Lamontagne said in a joint statement Thursday that they were disappointed to see that the code of conduct of grocery stores is still not in effect.

At a time when Canadian families are facing high food costs, it is essential that major grocers, along with all supply chain partners, adopt and adhere to the code. The code is a tangible way to ensure more fairness, transparency and predictability in the supply chain, the statement read.

We will examine, in the coming days, all the options available to us. We encourage all industry partners to quickly commit to signing the Grocery Sector Code of Conduct so that consumers can benefit.

With information from The Canadian Press and CBC

  • Cédric Lizotte (View profile)Cédric LizotteFollow

By admin

Related Post