FORT ST. JOHN, BC – Although inflation rates are dropping slightly across the country, BC still seems to be the highest compared to other provinces.
Canada saw inflation decline at a rate of 7.6 per cent in July, in contrast to 8.1 per cent in June, according to Statistics Canada.
Inflation in B.C., however, has grown, reporting 8.1 per cent in May, 7.9 per cent in June, and 8 per cent last month.
Many British Columbians, including Fort St. John, are breathing a small sigh of relief at the cost of fuel lowering, but the cost of goods such as fruit, meat, and eggs has increased 10 per cent more than last year.
Peace region farmer Jordan Kealy, of Kealy Farm, has raised grass-fed beef since 2008. Kealy says inflation increase is causing a ripple effect.
“Our slaughter is more expensive. Our butcher is more expensive. Our fuel’s more expensive. Our twine is more expensive. Everything is more expensive,” said Kealy.
Kealy says despite rising costs across the market, his main goal is to try to keep his product as healthy and affordable for people as possible.
“We’re not going charge you $14 a pound for ground beef,” said Kealy. “Right now, we’re sitting at $6 a pound for ground beef. We’re actually cheaper than a lot of the stores, and we’re selling a good product.”
Kealy believes consumers can push back against inflation when they buy locally.
“At any given moment with these big box stores, they could all work together like a monopoly and increase their prices threefold, and there’s nothing a lot of people could do,” said Kealy.
“By doing it this way, the more people that support us and help us with the infrastructure, we can help support that right back and offer more things.”
Kealy sells his product at farmer’s markets in Fort St. John and surrounding areas.