Quebec will chair a pan-Canadian committee that could lead to a code of conduct to tame the food giants who impose fees in supermarkets.
“We created a working group to have experts and get a picture of the situation,” said in an interview with Journal the Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), André Lamontagne, who will co-chair the committee examining the practices of retailers and distributors.
For the government minister Legault, the fees imposed by supermarkets can have a negative impact on small retailers, producers, suppliers and consumers.
According to him, the balance between actors in the biofood supply chain is at stake, he explained after a meeting of Canada’s agriculture ministers.
In mid-September, The newspaper revealed that the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) had asked the Canadian Competition Bureau to open an investigation into the American giant Walmart and its “exorbitant fees”.
“They impose their laws and their conditions. Quebec suppliers do not dare to complain for fear of reprisals. It’s unhealthy. We hope that the Competition Bureau’s investigation will bring this out, ”lamented Marcel Groleau, president of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA).
On Friday, Minister André Lamontagne said he took note of their approach.
“I don’t have to tell them what to do. They found it important to do this. It has to be a national approach, ”he insisted on a report on the issue to be tabled next July.
In Canada and Quebec, the retail food market is highly concentrated, with five main banners controlling more than 80% of the grocery market, according to the Quebec Food Processing Council (CTAQ).
As a result, suppliers of agricultural products and food manufacturers are concerned about the fees charged by grocery retailers.