Update from Baking Association of Canada: Vancouver Rogers Sugar Refinery labour dispute
November 22, 2023
By The Baking Association of Canada
Martin Barnett, executive director of the Baking Association of Canada, has issued an update in response to the ongoing labour dispute at the Rogers (Lantic) sugar refinery in Vancouver.
“We are extremely concerned about the impact of the ongoing labour dispute at the Rogers (Lantic) sugar refinery in Vancouver, and the resulting local shortage of raw sugar supplies in Western Canada.
“We have addressed our concerns with Lantic, as well as the federal government. We are hopeful that we will have the opportunity to speak with the relevant provincial governments in the coming days.
“We are encouraging the involved parties to resolve this issue: the detrimental effect on our bakers’ production not only imperils this busy baking season, but has serious ramifications for the operations of our small and medium-sized bakeries in the future.
“Lantic assure us that they are willing to come to the table to negotiate with the union, but there are still many obstacles to overcome before discussions resume. Even when the plant is up and running, there will be a lag of several weeks before full inventory is re-stocked.
“We have heard from bakers big and small, as well as distributors, about the insecurity of not knowing where the next bag of sugar is coming from. There is some production of white granulated sugar still being produced at the Vancouver refinery, but no specialty sugars (brown, golden yellow, icing or liquid). Some sugar is being shipped from eastern Canada, but this is not enough to meet demand. The specialty products are the ones that are particularly in short supply.
“We encourage you not to hoard sugar, but we do understand that it is important to guarantee your inventory.
“We have met with the federal government and expressed our concerns, especially regarding the anti-dumping fees on imported sugar; they assure us that they will take the matter to the Department of Finance for consideration of relief.
“Labour relations is the purview of the Provincial government and thus we have initiated contact with them. In the meantime, please contact your local MLAs and Members of Parliament and let them know your challenges as well as letting the BAC know of any specific issues.”
–Martin Barnett, Executive Director, The Baking Association of Canada
Martin Barnett spoke on this topic with CBC News’ Early Edition podcast. | LISTEN NOW
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