New Growers' Place in Montreal: update at the APMQ AGM

Grouped together at the Annual General Meeting of the members of the Quebec Market Growers Association (QPGA), on November 8th in La Prairie, the future occupants of the new Place des producteurs have agreed on the final layout of the site .

The fog dissipates a little more around the project of move that will bring the producers of the Montreal Central Market to newly renovated facilities, Boulevard Pie-IX, in the east of the island. Nevertheless, clouds persist in the minds of some producers.

Guy Séguin, a producer of raspberries and blueberries, has a negative view of the creation of a new hub to supply Québec's public markets and grocery stores. "We are moving too far from the wholesalers for my taste," he says, noting that major players, including Canadawide and Chenail, will maintain their location near the Central Market. "We're also looking forward to knowing how much the rental of a site will cost," he adds.

For its part, market gardener Michel Poissant is worried about the road traffic that awaits producers and their customers at the new location. Boulevard Pie-IX is on the one hand the object of a total reconstruction that will not end before 2022, but this is not the only problem, according to him. "They may say that we will have access to a bypass, he says, but the metropolitan highway is a real funnel in that corner in the morning. The producer is still a philosopher and plans to rent a site next spring. "We were there," he adds. I think most will follow. "

Gérald Fréchette, who just a few weeks ago pumped his pumpkins at the Central Market, is in the same vein. "It will be a new experience," he says simply, adding that he does not know if he will move. In its new configuration, the Place des producteurs will allow storage of pallets in height on three levels, which will force it to buy new equipment. "It will also take me one more employee," he says.

The reassuring QPGA

Asked by La Terre, APMQ's director general, Jocelyn St-Denis, is reassuring. "Certainly change brings fears," he concedes. But we will make efforts so that the customers follow us. "

Mr. St-Denis emphasizes that the partner of the Place des producteurs, the wholesaler Gaétan Bono Fruits and Vegetables, will expand its offer "so that the new Place des producteurs is a one stop". The APMQ has also ensured that customers will be able to use a road normally reserved for snow removal trucks to quickly access the Place de producteurs while working on Pie-IX.

"We must not underestimate the power of attraction we have for customers, adds Mr. St-Denis, who said he is hopeful to limit to 20% the increase in the cost of renting new locations .

On November 8, the future occupants selected the first of two interior design plans submitted to them. The new producers' square will contain a total of 14 rooms, once completed, some of which will be refrigerated. Producers will bring their products to one side of the building and buyers will pick them up on the other. The work should be completed during the winter to ensure the accessibility of the premises for the move no later than March 31, 2020.

Source: La Terre de Chez-Nous

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