More efforts to give farmers a fair return

Farm News Review – By Scott Stevenson
More efforts to give farmers a fair return

UPA pushes for code of conduct while forestry union seeks quota system

Local Journalism Initiative

A code of conduct between food retailers and suppliers may be in the works as farmers and other producers get squeezed between increasing costs and consumer prices.

Quebec farm union president Martin Caron took up the cause in his most recent editorial and in lobbying federal Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau.

“By refusing to transfer to consumers part of the increase [in production costs], large retailers force less profitability on all other members of the food chain, who are required to absorb it,” he wrote in the March 2 Terre de Chez Nous.

On March 9, the farm weekly reported that recommendations are due at the end of the month from a committee chaired by federal Minister Bibeau and her Quebec counterpart André Lamontagne to govern relations between retailers and suppliers.

Quebec’s forestry union complained about the same squeeze in the past year, with increased lumber prices not filtering down to loggers.

The problem is that what we pay at the store isn’t always consistent with what’s paid to farm or forestry producers. Food prices are up considerably but not always as much as the cost of fuel, feed, and other farm expenses. Producers are pressing for a fair way to better align their costs with retail prices.
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