The power to grow

THE SMART MONEY IS ON HIGH-YIELD OR­GANIC AGRI­CUL­TURE

Canada’s 100 Best - - Column -

THE TOWN OF HEMMINGFORD,

70 km south of Mon­treal, is fa­mous for its rich soil, its mild cli­mate and its Zoo Parc Sa­fari, where ele­phants and gi­raffes roam free.

It’s also where An­dré Des­marais of Power Cor­po­ra­tion of Canada, one of the wealth­i­est men in the coun­try, launched his project to trans­form Cana­dian agri­cul­ture. The idea for the am­bi­tious La Ferme des Qu­a­tre-Temps came to him when the first of his four grand­chil­dren was born, three- and-a-half years ago.

“I asked my­self, ‘What can I do to help him have ac­cess to healthy food?’” Des­marais says—and he may very well have fig­ured it out, with a lit­tle help.

The Des­marais fam­ily is well re­garded for gen­er­ously fund­ing uni­ver­si­ties, cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions and sci­en­tific and med­i­cal re­search. The sec­ond son of the late Paul Des­marais, founder of the fi­nan­cial pow­er­house known as Power Corp., An­dré de­cided it was time to start help­ing

By MARIE-CLAUDE LOR­TIE

the agri­cul­tural sec­tor, which is uniquely chal­lenged by in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion, pop­u­la­tion growth and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues. For him, ac­cess to af­ford­able, high-qual­ity, or­ganic and sus­tain­able veg­eta­bles is a cru­cial piece of the so­lu­tion to global health is­sues.

“I thought it would be help­ful to find new ways to feed ev­ery­one,” he says. “And that if we could find ways to de­velop new agri­cul­tural mod­els, to grow bet­ter prod­ucts, we could have a large im­pact on so­ci­ety.”

Sus­tain­able, af­ford­able and prof­itable (or

LA FERME DES QU­A­TRE-TEMPS’ SUS­TAIN­ABLE PRAC­TICES ARE ACHIEV­ING HIGHER YIELDS THAN CON­VEN­TIONAL METH­ODS

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