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Canada Bread fined for fixing bread prices

Canada Bread will pay a CAD 50 million fine for two price increases implemented by Weston Foods (Canada) and Canada Bread more than a decade ago, when Canada Bread was majority owned and controlled by Maple Leaf Foods.

The court documents filed show that, in 2007 and 2010-11, one or more senior executives at Weston made four pricing arrangements directly with the then-Chief Executive Officer of Canada Bread, who at the same time was also a senior officer of Maple Leaf Foods.These pricing arrangements resulted in the implementation of one price increase in 2007 and a second in 2011.

As part of the Competition Bureau’s investigation, in 2017 Weston and Loblaw Company Limited announced that they were granted immunity from prosecution in exchange for cooperation with the Competition Bureau. 

Canada Bread was acquired by Grupo Bimbo in 2014. Grupo Bimbo was not aware of this arrangement at the time of the acquisition, uncovering it in 2017. Under Grupo Bimbo’s ownership, Canada Bread cooperated with the Competition Bureau, establishing controls and initiatives to create a compliance program and taking the initiative to resolve the investigation. 

“Under new ownership, Canada Bread is committed to being a responsible partner to our valued customers and making bread an accessible and reliable food source for Canadians. We are pleased to have resolved this matter, and we look forward to building upon our investments in Canada,” said Alice Lee, Vice President, Canada Bread.

Grupo Bimbo is considering all legal options against those responsible for the conduct addressed in court today.

Canada Bread is a leading producer and distributor of packaged fresh bread and bakery products. The Company has been in business for more than 110 years. It has 17 bakeries, and distributes its products from 14 sales centers to 191 depots across the country. The Company employs approximately 4,400 people.

Photo: Canada Bread social media