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Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada. (CBC)

Grocers in Newfoundland want priority boarding for perishable foods coming across on the Marine Atlantic ferry from Nova Scotia.

It already takes up to seven days for some produce to reach North Sydney, N.S., from as far away as California.

Ferry delays have allowed some shipments to spoil.

Jim Cormier of the Retail Council of Canada says perishable items shouldn't be left waiting.

Cormier said it's not necessary for all retail grocery items to get priority, but refrigerated perishables should. 

"Your fresh meats, your fresh produce, your fruits and vegetables — that type of thing that has a limited shelf life," he said.

"We think we have a good argument ... Our product feeds people."

Cormier says there are about 40 days a year when delays at North Sydney affect shipping.

He said the cost of fresh produce in Newfoundland and Labrador is anywhere from five to 25 per cent more expensive than elsewhere in Canada.