TORONTO — Bringing home the bacon is more expensive than ever in Canada, and it could become even more costly as time goes on.
“It’s been going up about 15 to 20 per cent, I’d say, over the summer,” butcher and chef Peter Sanagan told CTV News.
Statistics Canada reported in August that a 500-gram package of bacon, on average, had crossed the $8 threshold for the first time.
But the increase in price is not restricted to bacon. Experts have noticed the cost of chicken, beef and pork have all gone up as well.
“Beef is up at least 12 per cent,” Sylvain Charlesbois, director of Dalhousie University’s Agri-Food Analytics Lab in Halifax, told CTV News. “Some cuts are up 30 per cent.”
Supply chain issues and bad weather are primarily responsible for the inflated prices, according to research by the Dalhousie food lab. The COVID-19 pandemic led to more robust safety measures and the closing of facilities and borders, which has affected every section of the chain from farm to fork.
In addition, higher transportation and fuel costs have increased prices. Fires and droughts across the Northern Hemisphere have also affected crops, resulting in increased prices in livestock feed.
“The biggest issue we’re working with right now is an increase in feed price for our chickens of about 20 per cent,” Melanie Boldt of Pine View Farms told CTV News. “That’s a cost we have to figure out how to absorb and what to do with.”
Canadians have already begun adapting by changing their shopping habits.
In a survey of over 10,000 Canadians conducted by the Dalhousie food lab, nearly half of respondents said they had reduced purchases of meat in the last six months because of higher prices.
Additionally, the survey found more Canadians are buying store-brand products and checking weekly flyers for deals.
“Also, Canadians are using coupons way more often,” Charlesbois said.
Four out of 10 people said that compared to last year, they’re now more often searching for food at reduced prices due to it being close to the expiry date.