The recent explosion in fuel prices is likely to drive up the price of fruits and vegetables on our grocery shelves, warn companies affected by these increases.
“All fruits and vegetables have transited at some point by truck, so the price of gasoline puts additional pressure,” warns Sophie Perreault, CEO of the Quebec Association for the Distribution of Fruits and Vegetables (AQDFL).
"It's bad for the wallet for transport, but also because of our irrigation engines, which consume 40 liters per hour," adds Clermont Riendeau, president of Potager Riendeau, in Saint-Rémi.
15% jump in one week
To calculate the fuel surcharge, many transport companies rely on the rate of the Freight Carriers Association (FCA), explains Pascal Gaudet, vice-president of truck management at Trans-West.
“A $4000 trip with 70% FCA last week was $6800 total. However, with an FCA of 85% now, the same trip will exceed $7,400,” illustrates the senior executive of the Quebec company.
"It's tough because usually there's a lot less price volatility than that," he continues.
“General trucking right now is charging 92.9% fuel surcharge in some places. In the end, it is the consumer who will pay. Instead of paying a dollar for the cane of bines, it's going to cost you $2," he said.
Quebec singled out
For the president of Dolbec International, Pierre Dolbec, at the head of the customs brokerage company, it is the consumers who will pay in the end for the soaring fuel bill.
“The end result is that transportation costs have almost doubled since the start of this fuel crisis,” he says. According to Pierre Dolbec, it is up to governments to reduce their share of fuel tax.
“I have never seen this, for two years, of levels of government sleeping on the switch like this. Meanwhile, they are helping companies that have been receiving subsidies of $10 million or $15 million for years,” he said.
Worse still, the boss of Dolbec even claims that some truckers don't even want to leave. "They watch the cost of fuel go up and they don't make a penny. They prefer to stay at home,” he laments.
According to data from the Ministry of Finance, consumption taxes on fuel for all modes of transportation brought in $2.11 billion to the government in 2021-2022. Last March, Quebec expected to receive $2.14 billion for the current fiscal year.