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La Caisse creates investment fund for Quebec’s agri-food sector

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has created a $125-million fund to help support small and medium size businesses and farmers in Quebec's agri-food sector.


Montreal, Que. – The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse) has created a fund to help support projects in Quebec’s agri-food sector.

The $125-million fund, called Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ, will be used to make direct investments (between $1 million and $30 million) in every segment of the value chain – from farmers to small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs). The aim is to help companies that are seeking to accelerate growth and farmers who operate family businesses, and their successors.

La Caisse is a long-term institutional investor that manages funds primarily for public and parapublic pension and insurance plans. As of Dec. 31, 2016 it held $270.7 billion in net assets.

The Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ is part of the Caisse’s strategy for Quebec’s agri-food sector. In a statement, the Caisse says the sector offers strong potential for growth in Quebec.

“For la Caisse, it’s important that both today’s farmers and their successors, as well as companies in the processing, distribution and marketing segments, be well positioned to compete and face the challenges in this sector,” says Christian Dubé, executive vice-president, Québec at la Caisse.

The Caisse says agri-food generates substantial economic activity in Quebec and adds close to $22 billion to the province’s GDP. The sector provides 500,000 jobs and exports more than $7.5 billion of its production. The sector’s value chain in Quebec consists of three main segments: agricultural production, food processing, and food distribution and marketing.

Quebec also offers a network of dynamic food processing entrepreneurs in every region, representing some 2,200 businesses, 90 per cent of which are SMEs.

The fund

The fund will offer investment amounts for each segment in the value chain but those amounts will vary depending on specific criteria, which can be found on the Caisse’s website.

La Caisse says investments in the agri-food sector will also be made through funds in partnership with those active in the industry and other experts in targeted markets (between $5 million and $30 million).

The fund will target investments meeting certain criteria including:

  • A well-structured business plan;
  • A well-established management team to provide farmers and entrepreneurs with proper support and structure;
  • A transition and succession plan;
  • A solid performance track record and growth strategy; and
  • An investment structure positioning la Caisse as a long-term partner for sustainable businesses and projects.

Deanna Rosolen

Deanna Rosolen

Managing Editor, Food in Canada
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