‘We are not profiting from inflation:’ Major grocery chain CEOs defend food prices during testimonies

Courtesy: CPAC.ca

CEOs from Canada’s biggest grocery store chains testified in Parliament and told the country they are not price-gouging nor have they profited from inflation.

The executives that took centre stage on Wednesday were Loblaws president Galen Weston Jr., along with Metro CEO Eric La Flèche and Michael Medline, the CEO of Empire Foods, which owns Sobeys, FreshCo, Farm Boy, Foodland and other chains.

Read more: ‘Canadian grocery store CEOs to testify on rise of food prices in Parliament

They were summoned by the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Agri-food to address the hike in food prices as Canadians struggle to keep food on the table.

Food prices, which include both groceries and food from restaurants, rose at a quicker pace year over year in January (up 10.4 per cent) than in December (up 10.1 per cent), according to Statistics Canada.

 “We are not profiting from inflation, it doesn’t matter how many times you say it …it is simply not true,” Medline testified.

He also called out the country for only holding Canadian companies accountable and not looking to Costco and Walmart for their part in rising food prices.

“We ask that you look at the entire industry for solutions. There are giant American grocery retailers doing business in Canada who were not called to the floor here today. Are they exempt from playing a role in these issues?” Medline asked.

Read more: ‘Grocery greedflation:’ Jagmeet Singh wants CEOs to testify in Parliament

Just a day before, NDP leader Jagmeet Singh took to Twitter to let the public know he won’t take it easy on the CEOs and even dropped his line for anyone who wanted to get in on the grilling.

“I don’t think it should ever be okay — that in Canada Loblaws earned $520 million in Q4 profits while Canadians turned to food banks in record numbers,” Singh tweeted on Wednesday.

“No matter how many times you read it on Twitter, the idea that grocers are causing food inflation is not only false, it’s impossible,” Weston said during his testimony. 

Singh tried to pass a motion on Wednesday to ask more questions to the CEOs but it was dismissed.

Some Twitter users aren’t impressed with the CEO’s testimonies:

Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content