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World food prices fall even as Canadian food prices climb

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Published on 4 March 2016 5:46 AM GMT

World food prices fall even as Canadian food prices climb
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Ottawa: The average price of food in global markets has fallen by 14.5 per cent in the last year as wholesale prices fell for oil, grains and other food products, according to the UN FAO Food Price Index.

That is a marked difference from Canada, where food prices rose four per cent in the year to January, according to the most recent Consumer Price Index from Statistics Canada.

Prices for fresh vegetables in Canada were up 18.2 per cent in the 12 months to January, while meat prices rose by five per cent.

The food price inflation in Canada is mainly tied to the value of the dollar, which has fallen 15 per cent since this time last year.

Since 81 per cent of fruit and vegetables sold here are imported, that has had a direct impact on the price of produce.

The UN's food price inflation measure and Canadian food price inflation have been "decoupled" for many years.

Canada is one of the largest countries in the world with 35 million people only. It's hard to distribute food efficiently no matter where you live in the country.

Canada has no national food policy. Canadian farmers are looking to move away from grain and oil crops, perhaps shifting production to vegetables because of low commodities prices. But they face higher prices on seeds, fertilizer and the new equipment needed for different harvesting methods because of the high U.S. dollar.

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