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APAS report shows food prices are not driven by the price at the farm gate

The Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan have released their final report on Farmers and Food Prices.

President Ian Boxall said they wanted the report to clear the air,  as some people thought the increase in food prices was related to the increase in commodity prices.

APAS worked with Kevin Grier Market Analysis and Consulting to determine the farmer’s share of the retail price of eight products flour, bread, canola oil, margarine, lentils, beer, retail beef, and retail pork. 

The report uses the USDA's methodology to determine the quantity of a farm commodity required to produce a unit of the final consumer food product.

Boxall says the independent study indicates that food prices are not driven by the farm gate.

"For example, the total retail price of canola oil went up 41%. They've started to fall off now, but when this report was done, the farmer share only went up 18%. So yes, the farmer got  extra when the price went up, but not comparative to what it went up on the grocery store shelf. So there's some interesting data in here, and this is just one link in the chain."

He says there are other costs from manufacturing to transportation that occur between the farm gate and the grocery store that also need to be taken into account. 

"Farm families are not to blame for higher grocery prices. Despite fluctuations in commodity prices, food prices and farm input costs continue to rise, challenging the notion that farmers are the cause of expensive groceries."

He points out that the report shows the stark discrepancy between commodity and food prices. 

The report shows that in October, canola prices declined by 21 per cent, yet margarine increased 17 per cent. Wheat saw a 19 per cent decrease, yet flour and bread increased by four per cent and three per cent respectively. Barley decreased by 16 per cent, but beer surged by 19 per cent."

The Farmers and Food Price report is available from through the Agricultural Producers of Saskatchewan.

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