Barriers to the Development of Value Added Agricultural Products
In Rural Eastern Ontario
For reasons yet unknown, Eastern Ontario Francophone farmers and other rural business people have
established very few value added Agri-Food industries in this region as opposed to initiatives elsewhere in the
province or in the country. Through focus groups and a survey, this study aims at identifying the structural,
technological, financial, political or human resources barriers impeding the creation of such businesses and will
propose a strategic plan and corrective measures, templates and tools to promote the development of a value
added Agri-Food industry and identify potential participants in this predominantly Francophone region.
Over a number of years, many Agri-Food businesses were established and failed in the region. Among them
were village cheese factories that ceased operations in the early ‘70s, with the exception of the St-Albert Cheese
Factory, due to seasonal constraints. A hay co-op was created in the mid 1980s but only operated for a few
years. On the one hand, a market study was conducted by the Alfred College for processing soybean into tofu,
but died on the shelf because of lack of financial resources from potential entrepreneurs. Another study is also
being conducted for the development of an Ethanol Co-op. However, the funding difficulties encountered once
again seem to be insurmountable.
Some slaughterhouses, both small and medium-sized, have also closed their doors several years ago. Three of
these, larger-sized, failed due to financial troubles. Two of the slaughterhouses were incorporated at the Federal
level, those in Lefaivre and St-Isidore; the Plantagenet slaughterhouse, a provincially supported operation,
processed beef and pork, poultry, and pork, respectively. The decline in the pork production also contributed to
closing some of these businesses.
Today, only a few family-owned processing businesses still oper