Mansfield-et-Pontefract, March 18, 2016 – The Coopérative de solidarité Houblon Pontiac (CSHP) is proud to announce that it has put its state-of-the-art hops pellet mill in operation. The quality of hops pellets that this mill can produce for the co-op and its clients will be far superior to any manufactured in eastern North America at this time.
For CSHP members and Michel Vallières, MRC Pontiac Development Officer who has supported the co-op in their efforts, this is the culmination of a lengthy process, which responds perfectly to the standards of excellence the brewing community expects.
Mireille Allard, CSHP President, herself a hops producer on Allumettes Island, says that the co-op could become the benchmark in Quebec for the production of high-quality pellets. “The quality of pellets that this equipment can produce will put the Pontiac on the map as the leader in hops transformation in Canada and eastern North America.”
A 2013 Centre de recherche et de développement technologique agricole de l’Outaouais (CREDETAO) feasibility study analysed the strengths and weaknesses of various hops mills on the market, the results of which were instrumental in the co-op’s decision.
“With such a lofty goal, we needed the best mill on the market, and it’s thanks to the trust that our financial partners have given us that we have reached this first important milestone,” said Allard. “The technical capacity of this installation will allow us to meet the pelletizing need of every hops producer in Quebec.”
This $400,000 project was made possible in part through the MRC Pontiac’s financial contribution and technical support, and the financial and time investment provided by the Pontiac hops producers and the co-op board of directors. Together, they contributed 54% of the total cost of the project.
Vallières points out the importance of this project for members of the co-op. “The calibre of the cooperation among co-op members really helped us overcome the challenges in this project. This is an assurance of future success for the co-op.”
Raymond Durocher, MRC Pontiac Warden, applauds the MRC and CSHP joint effort in developing the hops project in the Pontiac. “This new service has the potential to create five to ten jobs over the next three years in this emerging sector.”
The project also benefited from the financial support of the Ministère de l’Économie, de la Science et de l’Innovation du Québec (MESI) (34 %) and the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) (12 %).
“I am proud of the Quebec government’s participation in this initiative that will diversify the local economy and strengthen our agricultural expertise. Now, Pontiac will be recognized as the hops capital in Québec. The producer members of the co-op bet on their capabilities, the government supported them, and today it is our entire region that benefits,” said Pontiac MP, André Fortin.
The CSHP would like to thank all its financial partners, including: la Financière agricole du Québec, the Caisse populaire Desjardins in Fort-Coulonge and the Caisse populaire des Collines-de-l’Outaouais. In addition to its six producer members, the COOP also counts on about twenty support members in the Pontiac and elsewhere.
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Strategic Communication Advisor – MRC Pontiac
819-648-5689 ext. 127