CRFA "outraged" by dairy price rise

December 19 2013

Restaurant operators will have to pay more for dairy products in the new year as the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) is to increase prices by one per cent. 

The change will come into force from February 1st 2014 and has been described as an "outrage" by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). It claimed the price rise will cost the restaurant industry $26 million, which is more than the CDC has forecast.

This news follows the federal government closing down an imports process that had allowed operators to purchase cheaper pizza cheeses from outside Canada.

CRFA president and chief executive Garth Whyte said: "Weeks ago we presented to both the CDC and the federal government proposing a collaborative approach to set dairy prices and to modernize the current dairy system."

"It is clear the CDC and the federal government are not listening," he added.

Mr Whyte said the CDC is "pricing dairy off the menu" and claimed dairy prices in Canada have traditionally grown at a faster pace than the consumer price index and the cost of production for farmers.

The CRFA also posed a number of questions it wants the government to answer regarding this issue. 

It said Canadian milk prices are some of the highest in the world and would like to know what is going to be done to change this. 

The organization also wants to be made aware of what is being done to protect the "national interest" in the dairy sector and why the government "continue to protect the privileged dairy sector interest group".

It claimed the decision to raise milk prices will have the greatest impact on those who are least able to afford it and questioned whether the current system allows for the voice of consumers and key stakeholders to be heard.

Earlier this year, the CRFA negotiated a discount with the CDC that allows its members to purchase mozzarella cheese at a lower cost.