Alberta NDP wants inquiry into beef price hikes

Beef and meat products are displayed for sale at a grocery store in Aylmer, Que., on May 26, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

The Alberta NDP have called on the provincial and federal governments to team up and investigate exactly what is behind the surging price of beef in Alberta.

Agriculture critic Heather Sweet says according to Stats Canada, prices have risen between 11 and 43 per cent for consumers over the past year and this is putting real pressure on families struggling to pay their bills.

She pointed to a study commissioned by Food Banks Canada that found almost a quarter of Canadians report eating less because they can’t afford groceries.

READ MORE: Canadian food banks feeling pinch as food prices soar amid rising inflation

“Ultimately, the government — the provincial government — needs to protect consumers,” the MLA for Edmonton-Manning said.

“Inflation is high, Albertans are worried about paying their rent and paying for their utilities, and now they’re worried about their grocery prices.”

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What she hopes the investigation will find is where exactly the money from the price hikes is going, because it isn’t Alberta’s beef producers who are seeing the benefits.

READ MORE: Ranchers call for investigation into meat pricing

“The price correlation between retail beef product and live cattle used to be very high but for several years. Now the two have been diverging,” Callum Sears, president of the Western Stock Growers Association, said in a media release. “We need to know why that is.

“Consumers are paying high prices without knowing the breakdown of where their dollar is going. This is a disservice to both the consumer and the beef producer.”

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