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Billionaire grocery store chain owners, such as Jim Pattison, recorded sky-high profits over the last year but for some, grocery stores are becoming unaffordable.

Inflation hit record highs over the last year and most British Columbians noticed their grocery bills getting higher with every visit to the grocery store. 

To ensure prices don’t rise out of control, the Canadian government recently announced that they are working toward setting a code of conduct for grocery businesses to follow in an effort to keep food affordable.

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Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau and Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, André Lamontagne made a joint statement about the code’s creation and implementation on Friday, January 13th. 

“We would like to commend the agri-food industry on the substantial progress they have made in developing Canada’s first-ever Grocery Code of Conduct,” said Bibeau and Lamontagne. 

“By enhancing transparency, predictability and fair dealing, the code will help make Canada’s food supply chain more resilient.” 

“With businesses working together, the code of conduct can be even more effective, which ultimately, will not only benefit the industry, but consumers as well.”

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Food and agriculture organizations and businesses are being encouraged to participate in ongoing consultations regarding the terms of the new code of conduct.

“It is clear that a Grocery Code of Conduct will be more successful if people see its added value, especially through the accountability its governance structure and its dispute resolution model will bring,” said Bibeau and Lamontagne.

“We do recognize that a Grocery Code of Conduct will not address all pressures facing the food supply chain.”

The two governmental ministries said that the issues facing the food industry are complex and there are many perspectives on how to make situations better.

“We are supportive of the current process and highly encourage widespread voluntary adoption of the Code of Conduct, so it can be swiftly implemented and help improve the strength and resilience of Canada’s food supply chain, while also building consumers’ trust.”

According to the ministers, the code of conduct could be implemented by the end of 2023. 

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