[PRESS RELEASE] – How will we shop? Advancing a food systems lens on affordability

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 11, 2024 – Montréal, Québec


Food Secure Canada (FSC) is excited to announce the launch of our next project: How will we shop? Shrinkflation, skimpflation, and affordability challenges in the food system. The Department of Science, Innovation, and Economic Development (ISED) through their Office of Consumer Affairs (OCA) has granted $500,000 for this project.  


Canadian consumers are experiencing staggering food prices and have been largely impacted by these increases over the last two years. Added to this struggle, is the reduction in quantity (‘shrinkflation’) and quality (‘skimpflation’) of food provisions while prices remain the same or increase. Unfortunately, while costs, quantity, and packaging sizes are shifting, the increase of food prices is not reflected in the incomes of farmers or other food producers. As indicated by the Consumer Price Index, these premiums are instead being captured within the interconnected network of food distribution. Large food retailers are making soaring profits.


At the same time, rates of food insecurity in Canada are the highest they have been since recording began:  6.9 million people live in food insecure households, including almost 1 in 4 children. The pattern of food insecurity also starkly reflects Canada’s ongoing colonialism and structural racism, with the highest percentage of individuals living in food insecure households found among Black (39.2%) and Indigenous Peoples (33.4%). Actual rates are even higher, as these figures don’t include people living on First Nation reserves, people in some remote Northern areas, or unhoused people – groups at high risk of food insecurity. 


In this context, FSC will undertake an investigation of retail practices that negatively impact consumers (and what can be done about them) while highlighting options for strengthening wholistic food provisioning and marketing systems such as public markets and cooperatives that build resilient and sustainable food systems and communities. The resulting analysis will be framed around a three-pronged food system lens on food affordability: ensuring adequate incomes, reigning in corporate profits, and supporting wholistic approaches.


The work will include collaboration with organizations and academics working on these three complementary areas, as well as engagement with consumers, government, the Canadian food movement, and diverse communities to gain insights, engage in important conversation, and together develop policy recommendations to wholistically address food affordability. As a national organization whose relationships encompass grassroots initiatives, farmers, consumers, activists and others, FSC has a unique position that considers food systems in their entirety and is committed to uplifting the voices to which have been historically excluded from these conversations, such as Indigenous, Black and other racialized communities, along with other intersectional considerations (LGBTQ2iS+) that require a strong evaluation.


FSC will distribute pertinent information developed over the course of the project through our website, newsletter, social media, press releases, convenings, webinars, presentations, and reports. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on the project.

// Food Secure Canada has received funding from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada’s Contributions Program for Non-profit Consumer and Voluntary Organizations. The views expressed in this project and all reporting are not necessarily those of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada or of the Government of Canada.

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Communications Manager

Food Secure Canada



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Food Secure Canada