Holiday turkey prices skyrocket, as does almost everything else

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Turkey prices increased last spring as the Ottawa Mission prepared its annual Easter Monday meal. CEO Peter Tilley didn’t expect price increases to continue.

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“We thought it would be a couple of months blip,” he said. “I never thought it would last.”

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As of this month, turkey prices are up 16% compared to last year. That’s not all. Sylvain Charlevoix, who studies food distribution, security and safety at Dalhousie University, said prices could rise another 4-5% and possibly even more by Christmas.

Charlevoix does not anticipate a shortage of turkeys. But if you’re looking for a bigger bird for your holiday table, it can be difficult, he said.

“I’ve been encouraging Canadians to buy frozen turkey now.”

Overall, turkey is a bit of an outlier, as meat prices rose 5.5% last year. But the prices of many food items on the table of traditional holiday meals have increased.

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According to Statistics Canada, dairy prices rose 10.6% over the year, while eggs rose 13.8%. This is mainly due to the producer price increase from the already approved control board.

For holiday bakers, the biggest hit is butter, which is up 20-25%, Charlevoix said. Flour prices are up 9-10% he said, but Charlebois points out that his Loblaws have frozen the prices of No Name branded foods, including No Name flour. Prices for other ingredients, such as chocolate and nuts, are almost flat.

Food prices are putting pressure on household budgets. But for organizations that serve dozens of turkeys on vacation, the blow will be even more severe.

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The Ottawa Mission normally serves 7,000 meals a week, but will serve approximately 14,000 Christmas turkey dinners in the week ending December 18. This includes meals delivered to low-income areas by two food trucks. Fulfilling that order would require 6,500 pounds of turkeys—about 650 10-pound birds—and 3,200 pounds of potatoes and he 1,700 pounds of vegetables, plus gravy and rolls.

“We’re kicking with these food prices,” Tilly said.

Missions procure portions of food in bulk, so costs are lower than households. For missions, the cost of purchasing turkeys has increased by almost 11% compared to last year. Potato prices went up from $22.50 to $26.50 for a 50-pound bag. Carrot prices fell slightly from $26.50 to $24.59 for a 50-pound bag.

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The Salvation Army Booth Center will provide more than 300 Christmas meals to residents of emergency shelters, transitional housing and poisoning programs, adding $2,000 to the cost of the turkey alone. But turkey is part of the Christmas tradition, and the Salvation Army is committed to putting it on the table, said spokesperson Glenn Van Gryk.

“Prices for all groceries have increased significantly, and some items have not yet been purchased.”

While the inflation rate is 6.4%, the inflation rate for grocery store prices is about 11%, said Simon Somogyi. Aller chair in the food industry at the University of Guelph.

Fresh fruit prices rose 8.9% year-on-year, according to Statistics Canada’s October consumer price index. Fresh vegetable prices rose 11%.

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Dry or fresh pasta increased by 44.8% between October 2021 and October 2022. Margarine increased 40.4%, lettuce increased 30.2%, rice and rice-based mixes increased 14.7%, and soups surged 18.4%. .

Cookies and crackers increased 14%, while rolls and bread increased 17%.

“The price of cereals has skyrocketed, partly because of the conflict in Ukraine. The conflict has affected the price of all cereals. Fuel prices have also surged over the past year, impacting the cost of transporting animals and feed.

Food inflation is a multifaceted phenomenon. The supermarket has 25,000 of his products. Each of them has its own supply and demand story.

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On the turkey front, bird flu is a big variable, Charlevoix said. Bird flu hit western Canada earlier this year and is now hitting eastern Canada, he said. It seems that

Eggs, chicken and turkey meat have all been affected by bird flu, which has destroyed a significant portion of Canada’s poultry flock, Charlebois said. About 3.7 million birds died or were humanely culled on farms. Ontario lost approximately 640,000 birds from its domestic poultry flock.

But the chicken market typically recovers quickly, unlike the beef market, which can take months or years to recover, Charlevoix said. Looking for a turkey alternative? Consider ham. Pork prices have risen by only 5%, he said.

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Food prices rose at a slower pace in October than in September, according to Statistics Canada.

There is other good news on the way. The price of lettuce, especially romaine lettuce, has soared due to the drought in California. But leafy greens prices will drop in the coming weeks as crops in Mexico and Arizona mature, Charlebois said.

Avocados are 60% cheaper due to booming crops around the world. Guacamole for the holidays, perhaps?

Somogyi said if there is a bright side to rising interest rates, it’s a stronger Canadian dollar against the US dollar, making food imports from the US and Mexico cheaper. A speedy resolution of the Ukrainian conflict would also help.

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On Wednesday, Ottawa Public Health will examine the cost of purchasing 61 food baskets determined by Health Canada, based on costs at 14 grocery stores in the city in May and June. Reported on the “High Food Basket” survey. this year.

This is the first time the survey has been conducted in Ottawa since 2019. However, compared to $901 in 2019, the contents of the food basket would be $1,088 per month for an Ottawa family of four.

Families and individuals on benefits were hit hardest, according to an Ottawa Public Health survey. If a single man living on Ontario Works benefits rents an apartment for singles and buys a nutritious food basket of goods, at the end of the month he will be $580 in deficit. According to Ontario Works benefits he will be $209 short at the end of the month for a family of four. Her one person receiving benefits from the Ontario Disability Assistance Program will suffer a loss of $363 per month.

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The Ottawa Mission kitchen staff and volunteers have vacuum packed, sliced ​​and frozen every turkey they have ever received in preparation for Christmas. The mission is asking the community to donate frozen turkeys.

Providing 7,000 meals a week was a response to the pandemic. Now it may go on indefinitely, Tilly said.

“It was a response to a pandemic, how do you get rid of it? People are lining up.”

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Holiday turkey prices skyrocket, as does almost everything else

Source link Holiday turkey prices skyrocket, as does almost everything else

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