SaskWheat questions a report on rising cost of wheat pushing up food prices in 2021

The three prairie wheat commissions are challenging a report on the impact of wheat prices on food costs.

The latest Canada Food Price Report for 2021 sees bakery products rising 3.5 to 5.5 percent.

A quote in an article pointed to the rising cost of wheat.

But the 3 prairie wheat commissions question the data.

Quoting StatsCan, the average farmgate price for wheat was 3.3 percent lower in October 2020 than in April, 2019.

The data also shows a decrease in the value of grains of 2.7 percent from April 2019 to September, 2020.

SaskWheat chair Brett Halstead says the article’s price changes are misleading and do not reflect the on-farm prices wheat producers are receiving for their grain.

He says producers appreciate that several factors influence store shelf prices but the cost of wheat is not a major factor in the rise of food costs.

He says Canadian consumers have one of the lowest costs for food relative to income while enjoying quality and safe food supplies.

Data from the Saskatchewan ministry of Agriculture shows that a bushel, about 60 pounds, of number one wheat was worth 5 dollars 66 cents in January 1975.

In January 2020, a bushel of the same wheat was worth 6 dollars 22 cents.

Halstead says the price reflection shows producers have continually improved productivity and competitiveness.

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