Delayed produce shipments results in rising costs, food shortages
A supply chain disruption is causing delayed produce shipments resulting in rising costs and food shortages.
Krunal Patel owns Guac Mexi Grill in Bradford and said he's feeling the pinch.
"We are seeing food costs go high, and it's bringing down the profit," he said.
The Canadian Produce Marketing Association pointed the finger at widespread worker shortages and cancelled shipments, which threatens the product's shelf life and rising customer costs.
"Every time you compound a delay, you compound a cost, and somebody in the system has been covering off those costs, but many are now realizing they can't continue to do it," explained Ron Lemaire, Canadian Produce Marketing Association president.
Lemaire said depending on where it's coming from, what used to take 15 days for fresh produce to arrive could now take up to five weeks.
"If I find something that is a good quality, I'll buy it in volume, so I don't get caught without having the proper product for my customers," said Nelson Rocha, owner of Simcoe Produce.
When it comes to cost, Rocha said there is a trickle-down effect.
"I'm paying three times as much, and the restaurants end up paying three times as much, and my supplier is paying three times as much, so it's just going down the line," Rocha noted.
Experts anticipate the cost of produce to increase into 2022, with industry leaders calling on the provincial and federal governments to work urgently to prevent food insecurity and shortages.