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Grocery bills going up as food prices rise

Get ready to shell out at the check out: grocery bills are going up across the country as food prices rise around the world.

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said food costs have risen for the eighth consecutive month – and are now the highest they’ve been since the FAO started tracking prices.

“It’s the highest (in both real and nominal terms) since January 1990, the inception date of the index,” the UN wrote on its website

Loblaw, for one, will boost prices by five per cent to cope with rising commodity prices. George Weston Ltd., which owns Loblaw as well as baker Weston Foods, made the announcement on Thursday.

That increase will take effect on April 1. The company said the cost of wheat, sugar, and vegetable oil, plus higher transportation costs, have impacted their business.

Worldwide, the price of cereals are going up due to oil price spikes and stockpiling by importers.

But Geoge Weston Ltd. still reported its fourth-quarter net earnings rose 23 per cent to $101 million.

Even if you don’t do most of your shopping at Loblaws, you’ll still see a hit in your wallet – other major Canadian retailers say they’ll have to follow suit.

“Cocoa is at its highest price since 1979 because of problems in the Ivory Coast, which means chocolate prices are set to rise,” 680News senior business editor Mike Eppel said Friday.

“The price for corn has skyrocketed this year because as the price for oil goes up, there is much greater ethanol production as a fuel substitute,” Eppel added.

With files from The Canadian Press