Ottawa: Leaders of Canada’s largest grocery stores denied the accusations that they have increased the prices of food items with the intention of making a profit. They also said that the profit margin from food-related items have remained low.
The CEOs and presidents of Loblaw Cos. Ltd., Metro Inc. and Empire Co. Ltd, which operates chains including Sobeys, Safeway and FreshCo appeared before the parliamentary committee on Wednesday. This committee is studying the increase in the prices of groceries.
Other federal politicians, including Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, were seeking to hold them accountable for what they term “greedflation”.
The committee wants to know that transparency should be exercised in the increasing prices of grocery and profits to companies.
The three leaders told the MPs that it was a lie to say that the grocers were responsible for the rising prices of food items.
CEOs said that the increase in the prices of food items is a global problem. “No matter how many times you write or tweet about it, the reality is not,” said Michael Bennett Medline, President and CEO of Empire. Grocery prices were up 11.4 per cent in January compared to a year earlier. This is double the total inflation rate of 5.9 per cent.
In the first quarter of 2022, these three companies showed more profit than the average performance in the last five years. A report in this regard was also released by the Agri Food Analytics Lab of Dalhousie University.