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Finance committee  We are talking about entry-level positions in food companies. In any manufacturing facility, if you think about the quintessential assembly line, we're looking at people who might be working along that line—adding the hazelnut in the Ferrero Rocher, for example. You are looking a

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  It's complex; it's a number of different things. Certainly what we find is that most jobs are probably above minimum wage, but these are lower-level, lower-paid positions, for sure. One of the big challenges we have is that when you're in an industry that has all of this pressure

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  It's both. Part of it is looking at Canadians and seeing if there are under-represented groups in our workforce—women, people of colour, people with disabilities, people from first nations. We can take a look at what the barriers are for them in actually entering the workforce so

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  It's certainly been a contributing factor in our labour challenges. We went into COVID-19 with a shortage of labour and we're now at about 10% vacancy rate on any given day, so it has been difficult. In some circumstances companies have felt that they have had a challenge in fill

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  We employ about 300,000 people, and it runs anywhere from executives to food scientists to marketing experts. The vast majority of our workers, in fact, are what we call front-line food workers, meaning the people you think of on the assembly line, the butchers. Those well-paying

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  It's been very stressful. You have to remember that from the day the pandemic was declared back in March, the food companies didn't shut down. Suddenly 7,000 food companies across the country became experts in epidemiology and how to keep workers safe from a pandemic. The cost of

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  I don't think I would be able to find one that would.

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  I can only speak to the prices that we are paid by the retailers, and I think what we have found is that there has been a flatlining of prices. In fact, some of our companies have said that retailers say to them not to even try to pass on a price increase, which obviously just pu

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  A bigger concern for us right now, one that I know most of you have been following, is that retailers have arbitrarily increased fees on food processors and suppliers. We're in a position where our costs have gone up almost a billion dollars. We can't pass any price increases on

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Finance committee  Thank you and good afternoon. My name is Kathleen Sullivan, and I'm CEO of Food and Beverage Canada, an association representing Canada's food and beverage manufacturers. Food and beverage is the largest manufacturing sector in this country. It includes 7,000 companies. They em

December 1st, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Agriculture committee  Yes, thanks very much, and I will just echo exactly what you said. There's no doubt that the last eight weeks.... I talk to food companies every day and the commitment that the workers have made, not just to their companies but to Canadians, is really moving. As for what we need

May 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Agriculture committee  Yes, there are three main weaknesses we've identified through the pandemic. We knew of them before, but they've been really magnified now. The first is, I think, a really profound lack of understanding of how Canada's food system works. We know that more and more consumers are

May 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Agriculture committee  First and foremost, we outlined for the Prime Minister in a letter that the best way to approach the liquidity issues or cost crunch issues that Canadian food companies are facing is probably through the existing emergency programs that have been set up for COVID-19 to address th

May 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Agriculture committee  Thanks, James. We have a huge problem across Canada's food manufacturing sector, and this is not going to be a short-term crisis. We are facing a new normal of extraordinary cost pressures that we have to address somehow, either by means of government support or through food pri

May 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan

Agriculture committee  Thank you very much. I will be sharing my time with James Donaldson. Good afternoon, everybody. My name is Kathleen Sullivan. I am the CEO of Food and Beverage Canada. FBC is the national association representing Canada's food and beverage manufacturers. My members include the c

May 8th, 2020Committee meeting

Kathleen Sullivan