"Many Quebec agrifood companies are starting to look at using carbon
footprinting as a marketing tool."
- Jean-Pierre Haché, Senior Manager and Agrifood Specialist
MONTREAL, Feb. 28, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Following a difficult recession,
the global food and beverage industry is coming out of survival mode
and moving into a cautious expansionary mode. This is one of the many
findings noted in a 2011 study on the food and beverage industry
conducted by Grant Thornton International Ltd. This worldwide study,
offering a unique Quebec perspective, was released this morning by
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, during a conference organized in
collaboration with the Conseil de la transformation agroalimentaire et
des produits de consommation (CTAC).
Despite the measured growth of the food and beverage industry, major
challenges continue to be felt around the world, particularly with
respect to the high price of raw materials and the slow pace of
household consumption. "These factors make it difficult for companies
working in the food industry to increase their prices," explains Guy
Barthell, Partner in the Strategy and Performance Consulting Group at
Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton.
Jean-Pierre Haché, Senior Manager and Agrifood Specialist at Raymond
Chabot Grant Thornton, sees possible solutions for Quebec. "While
Quebec has been less affected than other regions around the world, it
must nevertheless demonstrate caution. Processors must learn how to
turn consumer trends, such as sustainable development and buying
locally, into profits, and target specific consumer groups in order to
increase their revenues."
Quebec at the forefront of sustainable industry
"Carbon certification, or greenhouse gas emission reduction
certification offers an appealing growth potential and could become a
strategic niche in 2012," explains Jean-Pierre Haché. Numerous U.S. states and Canadian provinces use
high-carbon emission fossil fuels, and forget to take this factor into
consideration when calculating the cost of transporting goods through
various warehouses and distribution centres. "Quebec is in an enviable
position because all of our electricity is hydroelectricity, which has
very low emissions. So a lot of our food companies are starting to look
at using carbon footprinting as a marketing tool."
Renewed interest in local farmers' markets
The study also highlights the importance of buying locally as a Quebec
consumer trend. "We have noted significant renewed interest from the
industry and consumers with respect to local products. For example,
Walmart is currently setting up new warehouses and logistics to be able
to buy locally and offer these products in all of its stores. Similar
plans are underway at other grocers. One of the reasons behind this
strategy is definitely the savings from lower fuel costs."
Canadian companies, on the other hand, tend more towards exportation.
"In their business strategies, Canadian companies opt for exploring and
developing new markets such as Mexico, India, China and South America,"
states Guy Barthell.
Managing Through Uncertainty examines global data on the industry—the financial situation, trends,
and constraints—and offers perspectives on these issues from
specialists around the world. To consult the complete study on the food
and beverage industry, visit www.rcgt.com.
About Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton: Founded in 1948, today Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is a leader in the
fields of assurance, taxation, consulting services, business recovery
and reorganization. Its strength is based on a team of over 2,000
people including over 225 partners in more than 90 offices in Québec,
eastern Ontario and New Brunswick. The scope of its network makes it a
leader in its business segment. For the past 30 years, Raymond Chabot
Grant Thornton has been a member of Grant Thornton International Ltd
providing its clients with the expertise of the member and
correspondent firms in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton Raymond Chabot Infrastructure Inc. is active across
Canada and has its head office is in Montréal.
SOURCE RAYMOND CHABOT GRANT THORNTON - REGION DE MONTREAL
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