Latest articles


Loblaw, Weston bake the numbers, burn consumers

As shocking as it was, most of us will eventually forget Loblaw’s admission of price-fixing. Let’s hope the industry doesn’t


Most Canadians were stunned and dismayed to learn that the country’s leading grocer was caught up in a price-fixing scheme with bread maker George Weston Ltd., which is owned by the same company. The scheme lasted from 2001 to 2015. As a result, Loblaw Companies fired several people and gave $25 gift certificates to millions […] Read more


Blockchain could revolutionize food

It’s an impressive and high-tech solution to the problem of sharing information 
from many parties quickly and easily

There has been a lot of noise on cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin of late. While some suggest cryptocurrencies are a fraud, others believe them to be the next economic revolution. Bitcoin has brought to light the interesting concept of blockchain technology, which offers great potential for the agri-food sector. Yet it is far from being the […] Read more



Empty Shopping Cart

Amazon and the slow death of the traditional grocery store

The Amazon effect means consumers will have greater choice and convenience – from their homes

The bricks-and-mortar food retailing model is losing its lustre in Canada. The signs are everywhere. Loblaws is the latest grocer to commit to home delivery. Starting in December, Canada’s leading food retailer has an ambitious plan to deliver food for a fee from coast to coast. The company has spent millions to make many of […] Read more


We haven’t seen anything like this in a generation

The rise of the ‘grocerant’ appears poised to revolutionize both grocery chains and the restaurant business

Food trends are difficult to follow these days. As with hip sectors such as the high-tech industry, the food industry is coming up with its own peculiar lingo when describing market shifts. One of the latest examples is ‘grocerant,’ a word combining ‘grocer’ and ‘restaurant.’ The term has been around for a few years, but it […] Read more



Preparing the bill at a restaurant to be taken to a table

The pursuit of convenience

Food costs are falling but many Canadians are paying as much or more than ever

Food inflation continues to be an illusion in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, food prices have dropped once again over the last month, by almost one per cent. Food prices are below the general inflation rate, just as they have been for most of the year to date. The food distribution landscape is much more […] Read more


NAFTA’s potential end is Canada’s greatly needed wake-up call

Now more than ever the nation must expand its portfolio of allies and partners and take a strategic approach to trade


Despite Canada’s optimism, NAFTA talks seem to be heading nowhere. Wanting to push back on Mexico’s influence over the American economy, Washington now is indicating that the bilateral option with Canada is more appealing. In Trump’s playbook, multilateral deals are highly complex and can only benefit smaller markets to a greater degree. Bilateral deals are […] Read more



Comment: Death, taxes, and food

Getting taxation right for the agriculture and food sectors will require something other than one-size-fits-all thinking

Up until recently there were two things certain in life: death and taxes. We can now add a third one: Botching the promotion of a tax reform for political gains. Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s tax reform has been a communication disaster. Various claims made about Ottawa’s intentions to revamp our tax system for small corporations […] Read more


Close up of a pile of marijuana bud

Weeding out what is missing

Ontario’s approach to marijuana distribution is full of unknowns and ambiguity

Ontario has become the first province to define how it intends to sell non-medicinal marijuana to the public. Around 150 stores across the province will open and will be operated by a division of the province’s liquor board, the LCBO. Marijuana won’t be sold alongside wine or liquor, but in separate, independent stores, as was […] Read more



Are days numbered for supply management?

If they are it will be because of NAFTA 2.0 and Donald Trump

Canada’s supply management system is a textbook case for food sovereignty. But the social contract the system represents may need to be redrafted as we head toward North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiations. Supply management is a social contract between farmers and consumers. Canada’s heavily criticized quota regime for the dairy, egg and poultry […] Read more


Amazon set to take a bite out of the food industry

Given its ability to fuse efficient distribution and strategic market insight, 
the e-commerce giant could well become the leading food retailer in North America

Amazon is intent on becoming the world’s most powerful retailer, with the help of food sales. Amazon’s US$13-billion takeover of Whole Foods isn’t shocking. It’s been rumoured for months. Now the mammoth Amazon, with its large revenues and small profits, has confirmed those rumours by making the biggest deal in its history. And acquiring troubled […] Read more