Founders of the Fromagerie St-Albert

Ottawa and Countryside

The Mérite agricole is awarded to the ten founders of the Saint-Albert cheese factory: Louis Grenier(president), Joseph Forgues, Moïse Scheffer, Joseph Labelle, Antoine Quesnel, Joseph Pinsonneault, Godfroy Clément, Jean-Baptiste Ouimet, Cyril Richer and Adrien Trudeau.

The co-operative cheese factory emerged from the vision of this group of ten French Canadian farmers. Opened in 1894, the 111-year-old cheese factory really was a pioneer and innovator since it was established six years before the first co-operative credit union was founded by Alphonse Desjardins, in Quebec, in 1900. No one knows where the founders had gained knowledge about cooperative management. It is certain that these visionary leaders in their community greatly contributed to the economic development of their village. The co-operative cheese factory specializes in the production of Cheddar and curds, and also makes Colby type Farmer cheese and Mozzarella.

With revenues of $24.5 million in 2004, the co-operative is the economic driver of the village, employing 64 people full time and 20 people part time, including several descendants of the founders. Its curd festival draws large crowds and provides a valuable economic spin-off. Today, 39 producers supply milk to the facility, which makes about 30 varieties of cheese. Thanks to this cheese factory, milk producers have been able to sell their surplus production over the years.