The carbon tax is here and it's already driven up prices at the pumps. That's not the only change that's coming though. Canada's new carbon pricing plan will completely change the food industry here too, and it's not just about the prices.
Of course, with the carbon tax, Canadians have already seen some costs go up. This will also extend into your grocery bill as well. That's because businesses will now have to pay more for emissions that are associated with heating, gas for transportation, etc. As a result, they will have to charge more for groceries to make up those costs.
On top of that though, the types of foods we see are also likely to change. In a Retail Insider report, Sylvain Charlebois, who's a professor of food distribution and policy says that the entire food industry will change because of this. For example, in Canada under this current plan grocery prices will go up by 3% by the year 2022. That being said, Charlebois points out that food prices rise by 1-2% every year anyway so this wouldn't be a huge difference. There's not only the change in prices though, but also in where our food comes from and the type of food available too.
For instance, Charlebois points out one impact that could that carbon pricing will discourage importing of some goods since it will cost more to do so. For Canadians, this may mean that we see a lot more locally grown foods being sold since fewer companies will be buying food from overseas.
Charlebois also states that research has shown that companies are influenced by carbon pricing and often make alternative choices, like buying locally instead of importing. That means this is a change we are likely to see in Canada.
Another major change that could be coming our way is the type of food that is available and when. The carbon pricing plan will impact some foods that have a higher carbon footprint more, so foods like beef and other meets will cost more than vegetables.
In other countries, this would mean that fruits and vegetables are available more, but Canada's climate isn't really suited to year-round growing. Coupled with the fact that importing will cost more, Charlebois says that carbon pricing will change the type of food that is available, when it's available, and also where it comes from.
Despite these major changes that could be coming, in his report, Charlebois also points out the positives of the carbon pricing plan, specifically when it comes to the food industry. He states that climate change has had a big impact on food prices for decades now.
While he does acknowledge that not everyone agrees with a carbon tax, the time to act is now.