The Dairy Processors Association of Canada and the Quebec Dairy Industry Council welcome the actions taken by the FPT Agriculture Ministers regarding the practices of major food retailers

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Source: Dairy Processors Association of Canada

The Dairy Processors Association of Canada (DPAC) and the Quebec Dairy Industrial Council (QDC) welcome the announcement made last Friday by Canada’s Federal, Provincial and Territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture for the creation of a joint working group to address imbalances in the Canadian food supply chain.

This announcement follows recent actions by some of Canada’s largest grocery retailers, who have announced they will impose new fees on suppliers amid the Covid-19 pandemic. DPAC and QDC, as well as other players 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.

“With that announcement, the Quebec Minister of Agriculture has shown that he is listening to Quebeckers’ demands for concrete action to ensure the long-term viability of food supply. We sincerely thank him for his leadership,” said Charles Langlois, President and CEO of QDC.

“We are confident that this FPT committee will help everyone better understand that a grocery code of conduct is essential to supporting the domestic agri-food system, now and in the future,” said Mathieu Frigon, President and CEO of DPAC. “We thank FPT Ministers for taking this important first step.”

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. DPAC and QDC are 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.

DPAC and QDC look forward to working with ministers to explore opportunities to strengthen Canada’s food supply chain.