Prepare for a massive jump in fruit and vegetable prices, says Vancity

Your grocery bill may be increasing substantially within the next year, according to a Vancity report 

Your grocery bill may be increasing substantially within the next year, according to a Vancity report released October 10.

This could lead to the average family paying about $30 to $60 more per month for groceries.

The source of this jump in prices can be found south of the border. British Columbia gets more than two-thirds of its imported vegetables and 44% of its imported fruit from the United States – and over half of this produce comes from California. An “extreme” drought in that state, which has lasted over three years, could mean price increases of up to 34% this year.

The study found that the local production of vegetables has fallen by 20.4% since 1991. Since 2013, produce prices in B.C. have increased between 5.7% and 9.6%. If things continue on this track, Vancity said, it wouldn’t be unrealistic to expect to spend $7 per pound for broccoli, for example.

Vancity says these findings emphasize the importance for B.C. to establish a local food system that is more sustainable.

“Investing in local and organic food initiatives is one of the areas Vancity supports in order to contribute to a healthier environment, and a more resilient local economy,” said Vancity director of business and community development William Azaroff.

The report offers up a number of tips for British Columbians to help support local food systems. These include keeping track of what is available seasonably from local growers and learning how to preserve produce.

It also recommends frequenting your local farmers’ markets.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV