As a result of Covid-19, the Government of Quebec has re-examined its priorities in order to promote economic recovery. Among these priorities is food self-sufficiency. Being able to eat locally, year-round, is a viable solution to come closer to food self-sufficiency, and this is the objective that Quebec's greenhouse producers and the Government of Quebec have set for the province.
Local growers such as Les Productions Horticoles Demers, Les Herbes Gourmandes, Serres Royales, Serres Toundra, Excel Serres, and Hydroserre are striving to contribute to Quebec's food self-sufficiency by increasing the production of greenhouse fruits and vegetables. In collaboration with Aliments du Québec, Hydro-Québec, Desjardins Entreprises, and Les Industries Harnois, these companies are launching a promotional campaign aimed at highlighting Quebec's greenhouse fruits and vegetables.
The campaign promotes awareness among consumers regarding the need to purchase fresh, organic, high-quality produce locally, year-round. The primary objectives of this campaign are to increase awareness regarding the distinctive advantages of Quebec's greenhouse fruits and vegetables and improve the identification of those at the retail level.
In accordance with the government's commitments, greenhouse producers intend to double the production of greenhouse fruits and vegetables over a five-year period. This objective will allow Quebec to reduce its dependence on foreign goods by offering its population local and high-quality products year-round.
"With this promotional campaign and the support of our partners, we want to make greenhouse fruits and vegetables prominent for Quebec consumers throughout the year," explained Sylvain Terrault, President of Hydroserre, on behalf of the companies involved in the campaign.
Interest in local food
"The unique circumstances of the last few months have emphasized the public's interest in local food. In collaboration with Quebec's greenhouse producers, we are proud to be contributing to raising awareness of local products and responding to the interest in buying local from its residents. We are also contributing directly to the collective effort of the entire organic food industry to become more food self-sufficient," Marie Beaudry added, General Manager of Aliments Québec.
By reducing electricity costs by up to 40%, Hydro-Québec will help greenhouse growers increase their production and stand out. "The biggest challenge to food autonomy is accessibility to all. The food produced here must be affordable and yield a fair profit for farmers. This means reducing production costs, especially energy costs," explained François Désautels, Commercial Delegate responsible for Hydro-Québec's agriculture market.
Benefiting economic development
Quebec's greenhouse production also benefits the economic development of Quebec. With some 550 greenhouse companies throughout the province, they contribute to the overall economic vitality of the regions through job creation and economic activity. By supporting the greenhouse sector, an entire high-tech industry is being developed, which includes equipment and input suppliers, research and innovation centres, experts specialized in agronomy, energy and other.
Consequently, Desjardins Entreprises is committed to initiatives that promote social involvement through a community or environmental component, in addition to being involved in the province's economic development. "By partnering with Quebec's greenhouse production companies, Desjardins Entreprises hopes to foster local entrepreneurs and promote a sustainable economy, while contributing to the vitality of many regional communities," said Sylvain Morel, agronomist and Vice-President Agriculture and Agri-Food Financing at Mouvement Desjardins.
"As well as supporting Quebec companies to stimulate the province's economy, Les Industries Harnois Inc. is collaborating with Quebec greenhouse producers to raise community awareness regarding the benefits of greenhouse agriculture. Through this partnership, we hope to develop the greenhouse industry and thus propel Quebec's food autonomy," Patrice Harnois added, President and CEO of Les Industries Harnois Inc.
Due to harsh winters, greenhouse production is the best way to provide consumers with fresh produce year-round. With the commitment of Les Productions Horticoles Demers, Les Herbes Gourmandes, Serres Royales, Serres Toundra, Excel Serres, and Hydroserre, and their partners, Aliments du Québec, Hydro-Québec, Desjardins Entreprises, and Les Industries Harnois Inc., the Government of Quebec can count on the greenhouse sector to support the development of a year-round supply of fresh fruits and vegetables for the Quebec population, produced with maximum consideration to the environment.
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