A Century of Quality

Agri-Marché

As leaders in providing nutritious, superior quality, high-performance animal feeds and genetic solutions for its customers, Agri-Marché is proud to operate a number of animal feed mills in Quebec and Ontario, along with pig and poultry breeding farms and a transhipment centre.

Providing a complete range of products and services—including carefully formulated pellet, meal, bulk, and bagged feeds; supplements and supplies for farm site manufacturing; veterinary services; advisors; and more—Agri-Marché serves the hog, dairy, poultry, and grain sector. With programs aimed at maximizing feed conversions and minimizing production costs, the company focuses on delivering the finest animal feeds and technologies to ensure optimal livestock production for its farmer customers.

The company’s commitment to quality and service today follows in the tradition of patriarch Joseph-Napoléon Brochu, who opened a general store to serve the needs of locals in the tiny Quebec village of Saint-Henri-de-Lévis. That was back in 1913, and Joseph-Napoléon, the son of a farmer and merchant, knew many of the locals and was well suited to serve the needs of their animals by supplying quality animal feeds along with wheat, barley, oats, and other grains. As his business grew, so did demand from Saint-Henri farmers.

All longstanding businesses face challenges, and Joseph-Napoléon’s general store was no exception. In the 1930s, in the wake of the Great Depression, Joseph-Napoléon looked for ways to grow the business to provide not only for himself but his growing family. In time, he began purchasing cattle and selling meat, meat products, and butter at Quebec City’s public market. In 1936, along with his sons Laval and Fernand, he founded his own butcher shop in Quebec City, J.N. Brochu & Fils. Building on this success, the family-run company found itself supplying both the local population and the army (within a few years of the beginning of WWII) with numerous products, particularly meat and butter.

With the post-war years, which marked a period of economic vitality for farmers, came the arrival of an array of tractors and other farm machinery. This much-appreciated industrialization of agriculture enabled farmers to grow and produce more food. In the decades to follow, the business founded by Joseph-Napoléon Brochu continued to grow to meet the needs of farmers. Others joined the Brochu family business, and in 1961 Donald and André, Joseph-Napoléon’s two youngest sons, took over the general store and slaughterhouse and incorporated the company under the name J.N. Brochu Inc. It was at this time that two distinct yet complementary sectors were established within the company: the meat market, which was André’s main interest, and animal feed and farm service, which was Donald’s domain.

In the coming decades, the business continued to grow, despite challenges. Following the destruction of the Saint-Henri mill by fire, the decision was made to renovate the Saint-Isidore mill and centralize all animal feed production at the facility.

The Brochu brothers decided to chart new territory in the animal feed sector when pelleted feeds entered the market in 1975. Investing in new and innovative equipment, the company soon started producing pelleted feeds for customers at its Saint-Isidore mill. Since that time, the company has continued to expand its operations and services. The 1980s saw the Brochu family business purchase a mill in Saint-Lambert, Quebec; increase production of high-quality animal feeds; and purchase the Sainte-Claire-based Avibro (later Ovale Eggs), one of Canada’s largest poultry sites equipped with an egg grading station. Later in the decade, the company purchased another mill in Saint-Flavien to consolidate its position in the region and cement its position as a leader in the market.

The family’s interests expanded into hog production in the late 80s and into the 90s as they invested in hog farms and began researching the benefits of importing European pig genetics into Canada. This resulted in a signed agreement for a project with National Pig Development, an internationally renowned company.

In 1994, the decades-old family business—now under the leadership of Donald Brochu—changed the name of the company to Agri-Marché. Many further changes were initiated in the years to come. In 1996, a cutting-edge poultry farm was built, reducing the effects of manure on the nearby community.

To serve customers in the western part of Quebec in a more efficient and timely fashion, Agri-Marché purchased a mill in Saint-Jérôme. In 2008, Donald Brochu transferred the company to the third generation, his children Patrice, Jean-Pierre and Guylaine. Under its new leadership, Patrice moved from general manager to president, Jean-Pierre took over operations and supplies, and Guylaine assumed responsibility as director of the poultry sector, the animal nutrition experts team, and research and development.

In 2009, the company took another bold step forward when Agri-Marché and Shur-Gain joined forces to create Lactech, a subsidiary that took over all feeds for ruminants so dairy producers could get the best outcome from the two companies. In that same year, Agri-Marché purchased Fortier hardware stores in Saint-Henri and Saint-Lambert, which later became Rona flagship locations, including a complete farm supplies department.

Today, the family-run business continues to innovate and thrive after a century of continuous growth. Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of Joseph-Napoléon Brochu, Patrice, Jean-Pierre and Guylaine Brochu continue to maintain their commitment to quality products and unparalleled customer service.

Agri-Marché is widely recognized as a leader in animal feeds in Canada, and remains proudly committed to its customers, with three mills in Quebec and Ontario along with hog, poultry, and egg farms; a grain transhipment centre; and two mills fully dedicated to ruminant feeds. As an integral part of Brochu Group Inc., the 400-strong staff at Agri-Marché continues to deliver results through the development of nutritional solutions and advanced genetics that provide farmers with optimal results. By partnering with a number of highly respected companies such as Olymel and Nova Grain, the Brochu Group continues to be a leader in Canada’s agri-food industry.

Supplying a wide variety of sectors, including hog, dairy, poultry, and grains, Agri-Marché formulates and provides nutritionally complete feeds that are scientifically adapted to meet the needs of every animal. The company’s time-tested knowledge of the pork, poultry, and dairy industries allows it to advise customers on how to maximize results and achieve the highest quality meat at the lowest cost. The team at Agri-Marché use their first-hand experience to develop and formulate feeds, feeding programs, and rigorously tested animal husbandry methods on research farms to promote optimal animal health.

Ensuring quality and safety are top priorities, and the company’s modern lab guarantees the highest animal feed industry standards at every stage, from manufacturing to delivery traceability. Agri-Marché customers can purchase these performance-oriented products at substantial savings by taking advantage of the company’s high sales volume. From pellet and meal form feeds to bulk and bagged feeds, supplements, and supplies for farm site manufacturing, all products are manufactured with respect for customers, animals, and the environment and are HACCP-certified.

With a rich legacy that dates back to 1913, when Joseph-Napoléon Brochu opened his general store in Saint-Henri-de-Lévis, the commitment of Agri-Marché and the Brochu family to their many customers will continue for years to come.

October 23, 2017, 1:56 AM EDT

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