Dairy industry finally showing signs of common sense

Supply management 2.0 is finally here. To survive, farmers who see the writing on the wall will need to develop new skill sets

Dairy industry finally showing signs of common senseIt was not the G7 most expected. Not even close. But should we be surprised? As U.S. President Donald Trump lashes out on Twitter against Canadian dairies, Canada is beginning to realize that there may be no North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) 2.0 after all. Washington is apparently aiming for two separate deals. But over…

In this trade war, mustard and ketchup are weapons

Ottawa seems to want to send a clear message to Washington, while offering Canada’s food industry an opportunity to grow

In this trade war, mustard and ketchup are weaponsWe are now officially at war with the United States – in a trade war, that is. In response to U.S.-imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum, Canada intends to do the same on other goods. So like any trade war, it could escalate. Canada will unlawfully implement counter measures that will take effect on July…

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packaging

When costs rise, a food company has three options: raise the price, make smaller packages or change the ingredients

Shrinkflation: to control costs, food companies shrinking packagingRough estimates suggest that anywhere from 15 to 20 per cent of packaged food products in Canada have shrunk over the last five years. Consumers find this irritating, but given the economics of the food industry, the industry can hardly be blamed. Most consumers worry about the cost of food. We constantly look for bargains…

‘We Treat You Right’? Not according to this DQ franchisee

The Supreme Court is examining a case that has significant implications for franchisees and parent companies

‘We Treat You Right’? Not according to this DQ franchiseeThere’s nothing sweet about the court battle between Dairy Queen Canada Inc. and M.Y. Sundae Inc., which upholds the franchisor’s right to a “superior bargaining position.” So far, the dispute – now before the Supreme Court of Canada – has gone in favour of Dairy Queen, leaving the mom-and-pop owners of a franchise in Richmond,…

The decline … and fall … of Tim Hortons

How an iconic brand lost its Canadian identity and why its corporate masters probably don't care

The decline … and fall … of Tim HortonsThe bad news keeps piling up for Tim Hortons. Leger and National Public Relations recently released their annual report ranking Canada’s most admired companies. Google and Shoppers Drug Mart topped the rankings of most respected companies, regardless of where the company resides. Google has been No. 1 for six years. Kellogg’s, in eighth place, is…

The plastic bag pollution paradox

At least 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are floating in our oceans but we struggle to find packaging alternatives

The plastic bag pollution paradoxBy Sylvain Charlebois Atlantic Institute for Market Studies and Tony Walker Dalhousie University An increasing number of people are voicing concerns about our use of plastics day-to-day. Single-use plastics of any kind – such as grocery bags, cutlery, straws, polystyrene and coffee cups – are significant yet preventable sources of land and marine pollution. In…

Minimum wage hikes serving up uncertainty in food industry

A 32 per cent increase in the minimum wage in 12 months is simply irresponsible

Minimum wage hikes serving up uncertainty in food industryThis is turning into a very challenging year for the Canadian food industry. Recent Statistics Canada numbers indicate that grocers are in trouble. Food inflation is above two per cent for the first time since April 2016. This is typically good news for grocers, increasing their margins. But given major headwinds affecting the industry, grocers…

Service with a smile: the simple formula for success

Four tips to transform the customer service your business offers

Service with a smile: the simple formula for successI don’t usually eat at Wendy’s, but last week I was in the Phoenix airport and I was famished. Instead of lunch, I’d escaped from the conference I’d presented at and hiked Camelback Mountain. A few hours later, I was waiting for my flight home. I’d eaten a small meal at a neighbouring restaurant with…

Health Canada’s suggested new food labelling has limitations

Would help consumers know what's in their food but there are some gaps in the system

Health Canada’s suggested new food labelling has limitationsWhen it comes to food, the current federal government is big on consultations. Health Canada recently launched online public discussions and consumer-oriented research to find the best front-of-package labelling formula. Four models have been presented – Health Canada appears to want to keep its options open (although all the logos look the same). Saturated fats, sugar…

Setting the table for a homegrown value-added food sector

As foreign food processors pull out of Canada, taking jobs with them, it’s essential to the economy that we fill the gap

Setting the table for a homegrown value-added food sectorThe bloodbath in foreign-owned, large-scale food manufacturing in Canada continues. Canadian value-added food producers need to fill the gap. In the past few days, we’ve learned that two foreign-owned plants, employing almost 600 highly-paid workers altogether, are closing: Dr. Oetker in Grand Falls, N.B., and Campbell Soup Co. in Toronto. Canada may have lost 30,000…