Fruit, vegetable supply issues likely to force grocery price hikes

Your grocery bill will likely be higher in the new year thanks, in part, to climate change and the low Canadian dollar driving up the cost of fruits and vegetables.

Falling Canadian loonie, climate change major factors in the rising price of produce

Grocery retailers may be forced to increase produce prices in 2016. (CBC)

Your grocery bill will likely be higher in the new year thanks, in part, to climate change and the low Canadian dollar driving up the cost of fruits and vegetables.

Some grocery stores in Atlantic are warning customers they're having trouble supplying produce.

Most retailers try to hold out as long as possible before raising prices, said Jim Cormier, Atlantic director for the Retail Council of Canada.

"You're going to be looking at extreme price pressures and you know, retailers — especially the larger grocery retailers — they're big enough that they're able to withstand that pressure for as long as they can, but it eventually gets to a point where you're going to end up seeing the inflationary impact," said Cormier.

"You know, they are businesses and they hold off as long as they can, but eventually it does result in price increases."

Price changes will vary based on each retailer, what products they sell and where they're sourced, Cormier said.

According to a recent food price forecast by the University of Guelph, the price of groceries in Canada has risen by 4.1 per cent in the last year — faster than inflation.

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