Canadian restaurants protest subsidy for food plant

July 28, 2011

The head of Canada's restaurant lobby is speaking out against the government's decision to give $7 million of taxpayer money to a German food company for a London pizza plant.

According to the Toronto Sun, the Ontario government spent the money to land the Dr. Oetker plant, which makes frozen, ready-to-go pizza. It should bring in 130 factory jobs.

Garth Whyte of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices wrote an angry, open letter to Ontario Agriculture Minister Carol Mitchell.

"Governments should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. Your government's announcement . . . pits one business against the other -- with a clear advantage going to foreign-based manufacturing interests," Whyte wrote.

From the story

At the center of the food fight is a 1989 federal policy that allows manufacturing food-processors, like Dr. Oetker, to pay about 30 percent less for cheese than what restaurants pay. That makes it tough enough for pizzerias and restaurants to compete with the deli-style, frozen pizzas sold in stores, an advantage Whyte says has caused frozen pizza sales to rise quickly over the years.

Topics: Financial Management, Social Responsibility

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