Since September 28th, Rogers Sugar employees have been on strike, leaving Canadians craving something sweet.
Many shelves that normally hold bags of sugar at grocery stores have been left bare.
But the places that are still selling sugar, are now selling bags of sugar with a hefty price tag.
Sugar prices have increased by fifty percent.
Nicole Kerr, owner of the BaKerry in High River explains that bags of sugar went from $10 per bag to $15 per bag. And because of that, she has had to, unfortunately, adjust her prices.
"Yes, I had to alter the prices already. If they go down, I will love to alter them down again, but I hope it doesn't get too expensive than that. Fifteen [dollars] has been the most expensive I've seen so far," says Kerr.
Kerr explains that her customers aren't happy about the price hike.
"I feel bad, I can see they're not happy about it. I'm not happy, either, about the cost of everything I make," Kerr says.
Luckily, though, Kerr hasn't had to make solely sugar free treats in her bakery yet.
"It has required some planning and taking extra trips to stores that have stock, but we managed to stock up for the rest of the year, at least," Kerr explains.
She adds that it's only been about a month since she has felt the pressures of the sugar shortage.
"I had a really good stock, before the shortage began, so I was able to go a little longer," says Kerr.
Because she was able to get enough sugar to last until the end of the year, Kerr will be able to bake all of the holiday baking she had planned to make.
Kerr generally gets her sugar from either GFS or Costco but found that Costco wasn't immune to the shortages.
"GFS, I only order about twice a year, because they have a very high minimum order. So, I order there when I need a pile of stuff," Kerr says. And neither time did they have issues filing her order.
Even with the strikes happening at the Vancouver refinery, Rogers saw their revenue increase. In a Financial Report put out by Rogers at the end of November, it states that they saw a $40-million increase from their 2022 fourth quarter to their 2023 fourth quarter. Their revenues during that time frame went from $267.4 million in 2022 to $308 million in 2023.
Their total revenue for the year went from $1.006 billion in 2022 to $1.104 billion in 2023.
That's with the Vancouver refinery, which creates 17 per cent of the companies refined sugar production, working at one-third of normal capacity since September.
Rogers has been redirecting some of the sugar produced at the Taber facility to help relieve sugar shortages in Western Canada.
In the same Financial Report, Rogers states the increase in profits is related to an increased demand and higher prices for sugar.
They expect the sugar volumes produced in 2024 to be lower than what was produced in 2023, due to the strike at the Vancouver facility. The amount produced in 2024 will depend entirely on how long the strike lasts.
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