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Restaurants Canada Expresses Concern as BC Restaurants Brace for Chicken Price Surge

British Columbia

Restaurants Canada is deeply concerned about the increase in the price of live BC chicken, approved by the BC Farm Industry Review Board. This decision will have significant consequences for British Columbia restaurants and consumers who value chicken as an affordable food choice. British Columbians already pay the highest retail price for chicken in the country, 40% higher than the Canadian average. While there are several variables in determining the final price to consumers, we are concerned that the approved price increase could lead to another 10% increase to the price of chicken for BC restaurants and consumers over the next year.

“Our members are frustrated that the cost of chicken has already soared in the past couple of years. Further price increases are unsustainable, especially considering that competitively priced chicken is a staple on 80% of restaurant menus,” said Mark von Schellwitz, Vice President, Western for Restaurants Canada. “Additionally, it is disheartening that the foodservice industry, which purchases 40% of the chicken produced in BC, has no say in the price-setting process.”

Restaurants Canada will be advocating for changes to the price setting process to ensure those organizations closest to consumers (ie. retail and foodservice) are recognized as stakeholders in the price setting process going forward.

As an industry that traditionally operates on slim profit margins, this increase will put an unsustainable strain on restaurants. Despite facing a 20% increase in operational costs, BC restaurants are shouldering most of the burden and not passing those full cost increases on to their guests, compared to chicken producers who are passing on all their cost increases.

While we appreciate the decision to gradually phase in the price increases over the next year, this is going to significantly change the economics of the entire supply chain. The bottom line is chicken prices will become even more expensive because of this decision, exacerbating the financial challenges faced by our industry and consumers alike.

Media Contact

Annette Goerner
Restaurants Canada