Point-of-Sale System to Be Made Mandatory for Nutrition North Retailers
July 27, 2015 – Ottawa, ON) – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
The Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, announced that the implementation of a point-of-sale system will be made mandatory for Nutrition North Canada retailers across the North by April 1 2016.
This new system will provide greater transparency and accountability by ensuring that customers can clearly see, on their grocery receipt, how and when the Nutrition North Canada subsidy is applied when shopping in registered Nutrition North Canada retailers.
This initiative is part of the Government’s commitment to continue improving the Nutrition North Canada program and ensure that Northerners, like all Canadians, have access to quality, nutritious food in a manner that is efficient, cost-effective and transparent.
- Last March, Minister Valcourt directed the Nutrition North Advisory Board to examine how best to implement the point of sale system and provide him with advice and recommendations.
- The application of a point-of-sale system will be mandatory for registered retailers by April 1, 2016, with the exception of smaller businesses, such as: Labrador Investments, Eskimo Point Lumber Supply and Entreprises Henry Jenniss which receive less than $450,000 in Nutrition North Canada subsidies per year.
- La Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec FCNQ), which operates 14 cooperatives in Nunavik, Quebec, as well as Stanton’s in Northwest Territories, has voluntarily implemented a point-of-sale system.
- To keep pace with increased demand for nutritious foods in isolated northern communities, the Government of Canada announced last November an additional $11.3 million, along with an ongoing 5 percent compound annual escalator.
- The program has succeeded in reducing food prices on eligible items. Between March 2011 and March 2014, the average price of the Revised Northern Food Basket for a family of four has dropped approximately 7.2% or $137 per month.
- Also, the weight of eligible items shipped to the North has increased, in average, by 25% between March 2011 and March 2015.
- On July 27, the Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board is hosting a public session in Kugluktuk, Nunavut, on ways to continue to improve the program. The meeting will take place at the Recreation Complex from 7:00 to 8:30 pm (MST).
“By making the point of sale system mandatory, our Government is ensuring greater retailer transparency and ensuring that Northerners can better see how the Nutrition North Canada program is working for them. I want to thank the Nutrition North Advisory Board for providing me with advice and recommendations on the implementation of this new system.”
Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
“The Advisory Board determined that showing the Nutrition North Canada subsidy savings on the sales receipt is an important and needed step to show clear transparency. We are encouraged that retailers have taken on the challenge, and that the Minister supports our recommendations. We remain committed to making a difference for Northerners and their families.”
Nellie Cournoyea, Vice Chair, Nutrition North Canada Advisory Board
“The Co-op System in Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon is owned by the people it serves and has always been committed to ensuring the full value of the NNC subsidy is reflected in prices in the communities. The Nutrition North Canada program has worked to reduce the costs of eligible products. As a means of improving visibility and transparency, and inspiring consumer confidence, the Co-op System has been developing the capabilities to display the value of the subsidy to Members and customers on the receipt, which will be in place by April 1, 2016.”
Duane Wilson, Vice President, Merchandising & Logistics Arctic Co-operatives Limited
“The North West Company participates in the Nutrition North Canada program in 67 communities and know first-hand the program has been successful in lowering food prices. We support the Advisory Board’s latest recommendations to make the program more transparent and plan to enhance our Point-of-Sale System to reflect the subsidy on all receipts in advance of the mandatory date. We want our customers to be confident that they have received the full subsidy on all purchases.”
Christine Reimer, Vice President, Sales & Operations, North West Company
Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada