The president of the Lambton Federation of Agriculture (LFA) is encouraging residents to shop local in an effort to combat rising food prices.
Earlier this month, the United Nations food agency reported that world food prices reached a 10-year high in September.
Gary Martin said, in general, food prices will be going up across our region. He added that food prices are based on a number of factors farmers can’t control, including consumer demand.
“Most of the food prices are mainly based on population growth, the Canadian dollar, increased distribution centre closures, labour shortages, stuff like that. The farmers keep producing based on whatever they can produce, but food prices are based on other factors that are out of the farmers’ hands.”
Martin said other factors that could drive up prices include a lack of truck drivers and recent droughts in other parts of Canada, leading to less feed for cattle.
“So that’s going to affect the meat prices obviously. Meat prices have all increased, so that’s going to lead to the trend of all food prices increasing as well.”
Martin said it’s important for Sarnia-Lambton residents to buy from area farmers and retailers to help the local economy and to keep the farmers from exiting the market.
He said some technical advances will help combat the issue of rising food prices in the long term.
“Stuff like vertical greenhouses to counteract the weather problems, and smarter equipment and better seed quality, but that’s all going to take time, so I’m not sure what can be done in the short term.”
The Lambton Federation of Agriculture is a non-profit organization that helps supports farmers and issues relating to their farm operations.