The Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture have created a joint working group to address imbalances in the Canadian food supply chain.
This working group may have a draft Grocery Code of Conduct by mid-2021. These Codes have been implemented in the UK, Australia, Ireland and Norway.
This announcement follows actions earlier this year by some of Canada’s largest grocery retailers who imposed new fees on suppliers amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Associations and companies in the food sector recently expressed their concerns about the use of arbitrary fees and penalties and the related non-compliance with contracts of large grocery retailers. This has dramatically increased the climate of uncertainty and reduced the ability to innovate and invest in securing the long-term food supply of Canadians.
The experience of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, has shown that a code of conduct for food retailers has helped to redress imbalances in relationships in the food industry.
Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) is among many organizations that believe a similar approach is needed to address the issues facing the Canadian food industry. In addition, these associations believe that all stakeholders in the food supply chain will benefit from the adoption of a code. Results of a recent review of the UK Code of Conduct demonstrated widespread satisfaction and improvement in relationships between stakeholders in the food industry.
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