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'Self-sufficient' food supply protects B.C. from possible price spikes: retail lobby

FILE - Cuts of beef are seen at a supermarket in Montreal on June 26, 2019. A Canadian scientist who co-led a study that challenges well-worn advice to limit meat consumption is responding to criticisms he should have disclosed past ties to the global meat and food industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Summary

B.C. shouldn't be impacted by changing meat prices like other parts of Canada

Retail Council of Canada says B.C. has a relatively self-sufficient supply chain

Prime Minister said there could be a spike in beef prices after Alberta plant closes, but no shortages

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Despite concerns in other parts of the country about the price of meat and other perishables, consumers in B.C. shouldn’t be overly worried, according to the Retail Council of Canada.

There are reports circulating of prices increasing in smaller communities for things like meat and other commodities, as well as limitations on the amount grocers can actually order.

However, Greg Wilson from Retail Council’s B.C. chapter, says this province is relatively self-sufficient when it comes to perishable goods.

“Supplies seem to be generally in-hand. One thing that’s important for consumers to remember is that British Columbia has a pretty self-sufficient supply of most food commodities,” he explains.

“Retail supply chain experts are very nimble at procuring supply. They’re accustomed to a situation where a particular supplier may be down or may be challenged.”

Wilson admits, though, retailers are facing their own pressures at the moment.

“A lot of the grocers have had to re-tool their stores, add extra staff. It wasn’t common practice to have multiple security guards in a store before,” he explains.

The Prime Minister has warned of a likely spike in beef prices due to the closure of a major meatpacking plant in Alberta because of a COVID-19 outbreak, but he says shortages shouldn’t be expected.

Retailers in smaller communities in rural B.C. have been reporting an uptick in prices — as well as certain supply restrictions — for meat and other perishable products since the end of March.