Major retailers must sign grocery code of conduct, federal agriculture minister says

Federal agriculture minister Lawrence MacAulay didn’t rule out the possibility of provincial or federal government intervention if the grocery code of conduct doesn’t have every major retailer on board.

In an interview, MacAulay said he’s meeting next week with federal industry minister François−Philippe Champagne and provincial ministers to discuss options on the table for both provincial and federal governments if the major grocers don’t sign the code.

Earlier today, MacAulay and the Quebec agriculture minister André Lamontagne urged all the major grocers to adopt and adhere to the grocery code of conduct.

The ministers said they are disappointed to see the grocery code of conduct has still not been launched after years of work, and that some supply chain partners are hesitant to sign on.

At a House of Commons agriculture committee meeting in Ottawa this morning, members of Parliament pressed Walmart Canada CEO Gonzalo Gebara and Loblaw chairman Galen Weston on why their companies have not yet signed the code.

Weston told MPs that his company is concerned the code as it’s currently drafted could raise prices for consumers.

Rosa Saba, The Canadian Press