By Olivia Enns
Have you heard of the Le Terroir Solidaire cooperative? If not, you’ll be happy to take out your grocery bag and hit the food markets!
Le Terroir Solidaire is a newly launched organization that is headed by eight small business owners who seek to pool their resources, share and split costs, and shed light on growing local or regional agricultural farms and businesses that might too easily be overlooked.
Laurence Levasseur of Ferme Selby Farm shared her thoughts and hopes on the cooperative’s mission. “Launched in the fall of 2017, Le Terroir Solidaire is a starting point for businesses like ours,” she argued. “Our Brome-Missisquoi businesses and farms collaborate in order to spread out and therefore reduce costs related to product distribution and transformation, insurance, storage and warehousing, marketing and online visibility. The costs can be pretty steep, especially for small but rapidly blossoming businesses like ours.”
The eight founding members of the cooperative include Selby Farm, Patch Farm, Cheeky Creek Farm, Produits Jorick, Les Jardins La Pelle et La Bêche, La Ferme Verte, La Bouchère et Mamie Ail.
Each farm or agricultural business is renowned for one specialty or another. Check out Selby Farm for its heritage breeds of pork, chicken, turkey and guinea fowl. Levasseur strongly believes in the importance of her animals’ health, safety and wellness.
Her colleagues are equally passionate about respecting ethical standards, providing quality products to their clients, and living as ecologically as possible. Located in Knowlton, Cheeky Creek farm provides its clients with healthy, ethically raised meat. Patch Farm specializes in the sustainable production of beef, chicken, turkey, pork and eggs. Produits Jorick is a family-run business that sells frozen and fresh rabbit and does quite well with its home-cooked rabbit dishes. Created in 2015, La Pelle et La Bêche is an agricultural business that sells fresh locally-grown vegetables (baskets are available in the summers). La Ferme Verte is a garden production that sells flowers, meat and shoots. La Bouchère sells homemade box lunches prepared with Le Terroir Solidaire products. Finally, you’ll love Mamie Ail for its garlic-based mayonnaise, pesto, relish… and much more.
The members of the cooperative have an aggressive marketing plan. They will be manning a kiosk at most local markets this summer. “We need as much visibility as we can get,” put forth Levasseur. “As such, we’re trying to spread the word about our cooperative by selling home-made products and by representing the cooperative at as many local attractions as possible.”
This summer, you can spot Le Terroir Solidaire at the following markets: Sutton’s Saturday market (2, Curley Street, open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Frelighsburg’s Saturday market (at the Town Hall, open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), and at Cowansville’s Thursday afternoon market (hours to be updated soon).
Check out Le Terroir Solidaire on Facebook for more information: facebook.com/cooperativeleterroirsolidaire.