Business owner cheesed off by milk prices

An artisan cheese maker in St. John's says a 48-cent increase on the price of a two-litre carton of milk is completely unacceptable.
Adam Blanchard is the owner of Five Brothers Artisan Cheese. (CBC )

A cheese maker in St. John's says a 48-cent increase in the price of a two-litre carton of milk is unacceptable.

Adam Blanchard runs Five Brothers Artisan Cheese. He pays the retail price for the milk he uses in his products. 

He said the increase will cost his business hundreds of dollars more per month.

"We are at a point now where we are going to have to start investigating other options for our supply of milk, such as importing milk or using raw milk from other places."

The new price of a two-litre carton of milk in Newfoundland and Labrador jumped from an average of $3.69 to $4.17 as of Feb. 1.

The Dairy Farmers of Newfoundland and Labrador blames the hike on the increased cost of buying and transporting grain to feed Newfoundland cattle, and on increases from dairy processors and retailers.

Food bank feeling it

Meanwhile, a food bank in St. John's has also been feeling the pinch.

Derek Winsor is the program director of Bridges to Hope, which runs a food bank and serves meals. (CBC )

Derek Winsor, program director with Bridges to Hope, said his group provided help to 8,000 people last year, and prepared 10,000 meals in its community kitchen.

"Two years ago we started providing fresh milk," said Winsor. "We've got the equipment to be able to hold it, so we've been providing fresh milk to our clients. So you know, it's going to have an effect on our budget because we do go out and purchase it."

Winsor said the increase will mean his group will have to raise more money or make do with fewer goods on its shelves.

Public urged to fight back

Cheese maker Blanchard said it's time for consumers to fight back.

"For people out there, just phone your local politicians, kick up some sort of stink," said Blanchard. "Make some noise about this because you don't see prices this high in provinces nearby, such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island."