MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 15, 2021 /CNW/ - As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 82% of Canadians better understand how essential food, health, and consumer goods are made, and 93% want government to prioritize essential manufacturing, investment, and supply chains, according to new national polling conducted by Abacus Data on behalf of Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP).
The new poll shows that Canadians think the top three most effective actions government could take are: forcing large grocery stores to reduce fines and fees charged to farmers and manufacturers (47%), solving worker shortages (36%), and reducing red tape (35%).
Cost of living is a top election issue for most Canadians, and the poll details factors Canadians think most impact the price of food and other grocery items include increased transportation costs (69% think increased transportation costs impact prices some or a great deal), labour shortages (67%), the cost of COVID-19 protections in workplaces (64%), the cost of ingredients (64%), large grocery stores' fines and fees imposed on suppliers and farmers (56%), and government red tape (51%).
FCHP CEO Michael Graydon commented:
"Canada's high costs of doing business are bad for consumers, bad for our economy, and getting worse. With COVID-19 continuing to disrupt essential supply chains, Canadians clearly support prioritizing essential food, health, and consumer goods manufacturing, investment, and supply chains with effective government action like implementing a regulated, enforceable Grocery Supply Code of Conduct."
The polling results reinforce FHCP member data showing that overall costs of production have increased an average of 15% compared to 2020, driven by increased costs associated with purchasing commodities/ingredients, transportation, labour, and fines/fees imposed by grocery retailers.
The poll supports FHCP's election priorities published August 23, calling for all political parties and candidates to:
Strengthen competitiveness and promote innovation, including by reducing unnecessary red tape and addressing labour shortages. Statistics Canada data show labour costs in food processing alone increased 16% from June/July 2019 to June/July 2020. FHCP data indicate 75% of members are experiencing moderate to severe labour shortages, impacting their ability to supply product in Canada.
Implement a regulated, enforceable Grocery Supply Code of Conduct that prevents large grocery retailers from imposing unfair, unilateral changes, fines, and fees on farmers and manufacturers.
Adopt a National Self-Care Strategy to improve Canadians' access to information, products, and services necessary to practice self-care as a proven and cost-effective complement to our publicly funded healthcare system. Previous polling found that 96% of Canadians think improving self-care is a good idea and 87% support a National Self-Care Strategy.
FHCP's 2021 full Election Priorities are available here.
About Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada (FHCP) is the voice of Canada's largest manufacturing employer. The food, health, and consumer products sector employs more than 350,000 Canadians across businesses of all sizes that manufacture and distribute the safe, high-quality products that are at the heart of healthy homes, healthy communities, and a healthy Canada. Visit www.OnEveryShelf.ca to learn more.
SOURCE Food, Health & Consumer Products of Canada
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