Canadian experts:

‘Buy local to keep grocery bills down as fruit & veg prices expected to rise’

Fruit and vegetable prices will be on the rise in 2019, if predictions in a new report on food prices in Canada are accurate. The report, a collaborative effort by the University of Guelph, Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax, says fruit prices could increase by one to three per cent, while vegetable prices could see a hike of four to six per cent. Vegetable prices already rose four per cent in 2018.

"People are moving to eating more vegetables and that's having an impact on price," said Simon Somogyi, a professor and the Arrell Chair in the Business of Food at the University of Guelph. Weather is also a major factor and can see the price of produce vary from week to week, sometimes with large fluctuations.

To combat the rising cost of produce, Somogyi suggests people try to buy local whenever possible: "We get a lot of fruits and vegetables from countries like the U.S. and from Mexico because unfortunately, we have a climate that limits our growing season. In season, if you can buy local, fresh fruits and vegetables, then that's going to have a big impact on your food bill. So I heavily recommend, buy local fruit and vegetables in season."

He also noted people need to be more choosy at the store or farmers' markets to avoid eventually throwing out rotten food. "Regardless of price, only buy the food that you need. Too many times we see people buying food because it's on sale and it goes to waste in your refrigerator or it goes to waste in your pantry.”


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