DIEPPE, N.B. — Residents of northern New Brunswick, Cape Breton, southwest Nova Scotia and Newfoundland could soon see a spike in food prices because of the rising price of oil, Peter Nelson, executive director of the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association was quoting as saying in the Telegraph-Journal.

World oil prices crept above $108 a barrel this week, which Nelson says makes the obscene notion of an $8 head of lettuce in Newfoundland a distinct possibility.

Nelson says the multiple modes of transportation needed to ship goods like groceries to Atlantic Canada, and the significant amount of fuel needed to move them, means the region will be potentially one of the hardest hit by high oil prices.

As the cost of diesel fuel has risen steadily over the past two years, so has the price of the food and other goods. As a result, Nelson says food is likely to become far more expensive and retailers may decide against sending a wide array of products to more remote areas of the region, according to the report.

Ian Munro, chief researcher with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, says rsing prices may encourage companies to use local transload facilities rather than shipping Atlantic-bound goods to Central Canada and back again.

–with files from the Telegraph-Journal