Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

Égrocery store: Champagne in contact with foreign players

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The Minister of Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, hopes for more great competition in the food industry in Canada.

The Canadian Press

The Minister of Industry, François-Philippe Champagne, once again insists that he is reaching out to foreign players in the grocery sector in the hope that They will open up to Canada and stimulate more competition.

The federal minister said he spoke to an international player on Tuesday as part of his efforts to attract new banners to the sector Canadian food, although not mentioning any names.

I can't tell you everything, otherwise you won't ask me any more questions next week. I was in conversation with one of these banners this morning, Mr. Champagne told reporters.

The minister met with Canadian grocers in the fall about food inflation. He demanded that they develop plans to stabilize food prices or face consequences, including potential tax measures.

Mr. Champagne recently expressed disappointment with grocers' lack of transparency about their intentions. However, the Liberal elected official remained silent as to whether the federal government planned to punish them for this.

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Large grocers have not, to date, been sufficiently transparent on the causes of food inflation, and they have, for the most part, failed to provide regular updates on initiatives to stabilize food prices in the country, he argued in a letter to Competition Commissioner Matthew Boswell on Monday.

Continuing record profits in the grocery retail sector indicate there are more opportunities to provide relief to Canadian consumers.

A quote from François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Industry

The Metro chain announced on Tuesday a profit of $228.5 million in the first quarter, with sales up 6.5%.

At a press conference, President and CEO Eric La Flèche said that retail price increases will begin to be applied in grocery stores from next week, following a period of ban on supplier price increases which applies to the entire sector.

Mr. La Flèche had previously mentioned that Metro had not changed its prices due to the meeting with Minister Champagne.

Champagne's letter to the competition commissioner suggested a follow-up assessment of the grocery sector, now that the bureau has new powers to subpoena companies for information.

I also look forward to discussing with you your assessment of the potential scope and feasibility of further market research into the the grocery store, he wrote.

The Competition Bureau released the findings of its previous study in June, saying grocers' collaboration was variable and incomplete.

The report finds that concentration in the grocery sector has increased in recent years and that the largest grocers have increased their profits on the sale of food products.

The bureau also stated that the Canadian food sector needs more competition to help keep food prices low, give more choices to buyers and encourage newcomers.

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