Canadian court won't lower cheese prices for pizzerias

Sept. 26, 2002

OTTAWA, Ontario -- The Ontario Divisional Court dismissed on Sept. 26 the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association's (CRFA) request for judicial review that would lower cheese prices for the country's pizzerias.

Pizzeria owners in Canada believe frozen pizza manufacturers enjoy unfair price breaks on cheese and thus compete unfairly with pizzerias. According to a release from Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), the CRFA requested pizzerias be eligible to purchase cheese at special class prices that were largely on par with those paid by U.S. pizzeria owners. The Ontario Court judges unanimously rejected CRFA's claims of bias or lack of "procedural fairness" at the industry's Canadian Milk Supply Management Committee (CMSMC).

DFC has maintained such a move would hurt dairy producers and that, even if price breaks were given, pizzerias wouldn't pass along price reductions to consumers.

In a DFC release, the group's president, Leo Bertoia said, "The fact is Canadian dairy producers receive about CAN 56 cents (U.S. 35 cents) for the cheese on a medium pizza with our price system. This amounts to less than 5 percent of the price of a restaurant pizza."

The release also said that CRFA wants Canadian dairy producers to accept a pricing system similar to the U.S. system, which fluctuates with market demand. DFC believes the current system is suitable.

"The CRFA simply wanted to challenge supply management, a system that brings stability to all stakeholders while assuring consumers constant access to quality products at reasonable prices," Bertoia said.

Topics: Cheese

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