Canadian Pizza Magazine

News
CDC causes price revolt


November 30, 2009
By Canadian Pizza

November 30, 2009, Ottawa – Leaders of the foodservice industry are meeting with the Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) today to express the industry's frustration with skyrocketing prices and unfair pricing practices.

"Restaurant operators have reached the breaking point on dairy prices," says Garth Whyte, President and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA). "Our members tell us they want to use more cheese, milk and other dairy ingredients on their menus, but they are being forced to use less because of the Canadian Dairy Commission's outrageous pricing practices."

The CDC is a Crown corporation that sets the price of industrial milk, which is used to make cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt. The price has jumped by 60 per cent over the past 15 years, or twice the rate of inflation. As a result, Canadians pay among the highest prices in the world for dairy products.

Frustration is particularly high among pizzerias. Under a little-known rule in Canada, fresh pizza makers must pay upwards of 30 per cent more than frozen pizza makers do for mozzarella cheese – by far the most expensive ingredient on pizza.

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The CRFA will deliver three key messages to the Dairy Commission today:  

1.    During an economic downturn when consumers are pulling back on spending, dairy prices must be reduced to be more competitive.   
2.    Dairy prices need to be rolled back by 16.5 per cent to bring them back in line with the consumer price index.   
3.    Canadians need to know who is accountable for ensuring dairy prices are fair to all customers.

The restaurant industry is a major dairy customer, buying nearly $2.5 billion in dairy products annually.