December 3, 2008

Restaurateurs seek milk price reduction

Restaurant owners in Canada are calling on the Canadian Dairy Commission to roll back industrial milk prices next year.

A statement from the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association said increased dairy costs have forced restaurant owners to use less cheese and other milk products.

The commission is expected to announce the 2009 price of industrial milk within days.

Last week, the commission heard from chain and independent restaurant operators that dairy prices have jumped 57 percent in the last 14 years -- nearly twice the rate of inflation.

Meanwhile, the cost of producing industrial milk, used to make cheese and other dairy products, has increased by just 6 percent during the same period.

Also, pizzeria owners complained they are forced to pay up to 30 percent more for their cheese than frozen pizza makers do.

The CDC has turned their backs and a deaf ear on us, Diana Coutu of Diana's Gourmet Pizza in Winnipeg told the commissioners. Independent pizzeria owners across the country have thrown up their hands in defeat and actively looked for substitutions for 100 percent dairy cheeses.