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Loblaw exec pushes back on claim that grocery giant is profiteering from inflation

OTTAWA — A Loblaw executive is disputing an accusation that the grocery giant is taking advantage of inflation to drive up its own profits. 

The company’s senior vice president of retail finance, Jodat Hussain, testified at the House of Commons agriculture committee today as part of its study of food inflation. 

Hussain told MPs Loblaw has been raising prices because suppliers are charging more, and that the company’s gross margins on food have remained stable.

The executive said Loblaw pushes back on suppliers when they do propose raising prices, citing its disagreement with Frito-Lay over the price of potato chips, which led to empty shelves during the dispute. 

The rapidly rising cost of groceries has become a hot-button issue in politics, with food prices up 11 per cent in October compared with a year earlier. 

The New Democrats have accused companies like Loblaw of profiting off of inflation by unfairly raising prices on consumers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 5, 2022. 

The Canadian Press