The June 2021 edition of the Canadian Fluid Milk report has been published by Field Agent Canada. It compares the prices Canadians pay for one of the most common items in the grocery basket - 2% milk, and St. John's, in Newfoundland, again topped the list for priciest milk.
Field Agent Canada conducted a cross-country price survey on fluid milk prices at 185 retailers in 20 markets from coast-to-coast between May 7 and June 1, 2021. The survey compared prices recorded at the same outlets in March 2020, highlighting any shifts over the last 14 months. Additionally, the company looked at prices for milk at Walmart stores in five border communities in the US to provide a comparative benchmark of the cost of similar products in the larger US market.
There have been reports of increasing food prices across Canada and the company said this is true of milk as the average price of 4L milk increasing by 3.6% since the last survey in March 2020.
“We are seeing the price of milk increasing in 18 out of 20 markets surveyed with the only exceptions being Charlottetown, PE and Victoria/Langford, BC. Milk is one of those items making the total at the bottom of the grocery receipt go higher,” said Jeff Doucette, general manager of Field Agent Canada.
Milk is also at the center of the Biden administration’s first USMCA challenge where it is alleged the Canadian system of quotas is preventing US milk producers from importing its products to Canada.
“It is an age-old gripe of Canadians that the price of gasoline and the price of milk is so much cheaper in the US than in Canada,” Doucette said.
“We found 3.78L milk in Amherst, NY for $2.59 (C$3.32) which is 25% less than the price of the cheapest Canadian 4L jug. There is no doubt open borders would reduce the milk price for Canadian consumers but the government is unlikely to allow that milk to flow due to the powerful dairy farmers lobby.”
The cheapest milk in Canada, for the 4L size, is in Sudbury, Ontario, where shoppers are paying an average of C$4.68 (US$3.85) per 4L jug. The most expensive milk continues to be in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where 4L jugs are not available and shoppers are paying a C$3.90 (US$3.21) on average for a 2L carton.
“Since we first launched this report in 2015 we have been highlighting the inefficiencies and inequalities of the milk market in Canada which has wide swings from city-to-city while the price of a 2L Coca-Cola is essentially the same in every Walmart across Canada. We will continue to publish this report so consumers have the facts to raise to their local politicians to fight for change,” Doucette said.