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Canadian trucker protest leads to shortage of fruits and vegetables at small grocery stores that import from the US

Police are trying to clear the border as judge ordered truckers to end the blockage.

Carlos Osorio/Reuters

  • The Canadian trucker protest has led to a shortage of fruits and vegetables for some store owners.
  • People in remote areas are the most affected, especially as costs rise, NBC News reported.
  • A judge has also ordered truckers to end a five-day blockade at a border bridge, per AP.

The Canadian trucker protest is impacting the availability of certain foods in some parts of the country.

As NBC News reported, the owners of some independent grocery stores that rely on goods coming from the US are starting to feel the strain of the ongoing disruption.

The grocers say they face delays on fruits, vegetables, and cereals, which has led to a shortage.

According to the outlet, Canadians living in the most remote areas are the most affected as they rely on imported fruits and vegetables — especially during winters — and the protests have disrupted the flow of goods, potentially leading to spoilage and waste. 

The so-called “Freedom Convoy” has been protesting since late January against the country’s vaccine mandates. They are particularly angered about the cross-border vaccine regulations that require them to either be fully vaccinated to cross freely into the US and back, or face a quarantine period upon their return. 

On Friday, a judge ordered protesters to end a blockade at the Ambassador Bridge over the border between the US and Canada, AP reported. 

Representatives from the Freedom Convoy did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

The senior vice president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers told NBC News: “Independent grocers tend to be in communities where many times there’s not a chain retailer, they’re the only game in town, so when there are supply chain issues, it becomes more acute.”

Insider’s Grace Dean previously reported on how the protests are drawing thousands of people into the streets. The auto industry has also faced significant disruption, as Insider’s Dhany Osman reported.

Michelle Wasylyshen, a spokeswoman for the Retail Council of Canada, told NBC News that the country’s trade and transportation infrastructure is “vital to the lives and livelihood of all Canadians.” 

She added: “Roughly 25% of all food and consumer products, as well as packaging and ingredients, are shipped by trucks across the Ambassador Bridge alone and the current demonstrations could inevitably lead to plant shutdowns, potential layoffs, reduced on-shelf availability and increased pricing for many products like fruits and vegetables.”

Independent store owner Giancarlo Trimarchi told NBC News: “Our clientele is mixed, some can adjust but others suffer. Processed foods become so much more appealing when produce is hit with higher prices, which most of the time disadvantages lower-income people.”

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