Cauliflower prices have risen to as high as $8 per head in some Canadian grocery stores thanks to the low Canadian dollar and weather issues.

Why is cauliflower so expensive in northwest B.C.?

Cauliflower isn’t the new kobe beef of vegetables but there are two significant reasons as to why its price tag has risen to new heights

Cauliflower lovers may shudder when watching the prices of their beloved vegetable soar to the costs akin to cuts of meat.

No, cauliflower isn’t the new kobe beef of vegetables but there are two significant reasons as to why its price tag has risen to new heights.

The produce manager at Overwaitea Prince Rupert, Mark Bryant, blames the fluctuating Canadian dollar. “We’re importing everything at the moment with the soft Canadian dollar. Our markets haven’t changed at all but our costs have. It has to do with the world market unfortunately, at this time,” Bryant said.

Canada imports 80 per cent of its produce and it’s sold at a higher per cent during the winter months, according to David Wilkes, the senior vice president of government relations and grocery division from the Retail Council of Canada. The produce industry trades in U.S. dollars. Regardless if a piece of fruit or vegetable comes from Mexico or New Zealand the product is still paid for in U.S. dollars.

To make matters worse, growing conditions in California, Mexico and Guatemala have faced some weather-related issues and production is down. In California it’s the cauliflower that is suffering, in Mexico it’s the hot house tomato and in Guatemala it’s the melon crop. “These are all more temporal in nature but it has a very severe impact because it reduces the supply, which on top of the decline in the value of the Canadian dollar creates two situations or two factors that are leading prices to increase,” Wilkes said.

At Overwaitea, Bryant said that at this time of year prices start to go up, and with the short supply of these products and the low dollar his department isn’t making much of a profit off these items either, including cauliflower.

“Until the local markets kick up and we start buying some local B.C. stuff I think the prices will come down then but until that point, unfortunately as a consumer, we’re paying the bad end of the stick,” he said.

The Canadian loonie has dropped 17 per cent against the U.S. dollar over the year. “I can imagine that we are going to see a cost increase with the fluctuation of the dollar but we haven’t noticed anything at that point,” said assistant manager at Overwaitea, Marc Brais.

There is some good news coming though, cauliflower is on sale for the week mostly due to a change in weather bringing better growing conditions over the last little while. Wilkes said that “Hopefully this will provide some relief. But the dollar could be more long term in nature. Obviously it’s an open question and we’ll see where it goes.”

Cauliflower, at least for the next week, will take a break from its luxury status.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Heart of our city – Fighting for the road to recovery

World champion kick-boxer wins at Trinity House recovery program

Tour recognizes Prince Rupert’s rich labour history

Epic story of the Battle of Kelly’s Cut put Rupert on the labour radar

Coastal GasLink breaks ground on meter station in Kitimat

Meter station marks final point on pipeline that stretches from Northeast B.C.

Oily rain runoff down the drain causes concern for Prince Rupert residents

Immediate action taken to alleviate any concerns, road paving contractor said.

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

The Northern View presents the second annual Tyee Fishing Derby

More than $15,000 is up for grabs in cash and prizes

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Over half of Americans oppose Trump tariff on Canadian aluminum: survey

The survey was conducted Aug. 7 to 9 among 1,513 Canadians and 1,003 Americans

Most Read