During this health crisis, it is easy to worry about many things, including if there is enough food and basic everyday supplies for you and your family. The food system is being affected by COVID-19, however this does not mean there is a reason to be concerned.
We want you to know we are here for you and we want to share reliable information about how this pandemic is impacting our food system. We are doing our best to work with our vendors to keep our prices fair, however some increases in food prices may happen during this time due to these three factors:
1. Food Prices
If you are shopping in a grocery store or on Spud.ca you may see some changes in our pricing, this is because of the current global crisis. There has been a large jump in prices reported in some markets, such as in meat pricing since 80% of this market is owned by four major companies.
More importantly, we want to share with you that Spud.ca has always prioritized partnering with local companies and working directly with producers. Although we source our meat from local vendors, our prices may still be impacted by external variables. At this time, it is uncertain what these changes may look like in the coming weeks.
For produce, changes in price vary due a variety of factors, such as weather, type of crop, and labour. COVID-19 has mainly affected labour as travel restrictions are creating labour shortages. The good news is that Canada recently lifted some restrictions which will allow foreign, seasonal workers to work after a 14 day quarantine period. Canada’s food system heavily relies on foreign, seasonal workers.
Our purchasing team has seen inconsistent changes to food prices from our vendors and we are working closely with our partners to keep food costs at a reasonable price.
2. Supply & Demand
We know you are preparing for what you and your family needs but please plan your purchases and do not over purchase. Shop with a plan and please respect the quantity limits.
Although the food distribution process is facing new challenges and food purchasing continues to increase with panic buying, the risk of long term food shortages remains low. New challenges that may cause temporary food shortages include: (1) hold ups at international borders due to stricter food inspections, (2) longer food distribution routes as drivers avoid high COVID-19 risk areas, and (3) lower productivity levels on farms as field workers practice social distancing.
Due to this reality, we have decided to limit our food promotions and specials in an effort to stabilize our supply and demand. Don’t worry, they will be back!
3. Food (In)Security
For the average Canadian household, food insecurity due to COVID-19 remains low, so there is no need to be worried.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization is particularly concerned about the impact of this pandemic on vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations include countries that rely on foreign food aid, communities that are already food insecure, and small scale farmers who rely on food services as their buyers.
We recommend thinking about those in your community that are vulnerable, such as the elderly, immune-compromised, or food insecure, and consider offering your support.
At Spud.ca, we take our responsibility as an essential service very seriously and we are doing everything we can to serve our community. We thank you for your patience, understanding, and encouragement as we manage through a crisis for the first time.