Strength in numbers
Created in 1975, Les Producteurs de bovins du Québec (PBQ) is an agricultural association constituted under the Professional Syndicates Act.
Supported by approximately 12,850 producers on 8,908 cattle farms throughout Quebec, the PBQ are composed of 14 regional syndicates. Quebec cattle producers market 591,036 head of cattle per year worth a farmgate value of $551 million, making it the fourth largest livestock production sector in Quebec. We are the fourth largest livestock production sector in the Province of Quebec and account for 3,500 jobs and $281 million of added value.
Through their affiliation with the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), the PBQ extend their sphere of influence and benefits from an impressive collective force to help develop and implement solutions adapted to the realities of Quebec’s beef and veal sectors.
Tools to develop the production
Since 1982, the PBQ have been administering the Joint Plan des producteurs de bovins du Québec, the Quebec cattle producers’ joint marketing plan, which applies to its five production sectors: feeder calves, fed cattle, cull cattle and dairy calves, grain-fed veal and milk-fed veal. The plan gives the PBQ the power to regulate the marketing of cattle to make it more orderly and efficient.
The PBQ also administer a payment guarantee program which protects producers against possible bankruptcies of buyers or auction barns.
The PBQ have also set up a research fund to finance taking part in major projects along with governments, universities, research centres and private partners. The research projects cover areas such as the environment, animal health and welfare, farming techniques, as well as the economy and marketing.
The grain-fed and milk-fed veal sectors have their own promotion funds which are used to promote the popularity and consumption of their products with consumers in Quebec and elsewhere.
Involved downstream from production
Since 2002, the PBQ have been a shareholder in Réseau Encans Québec, which handles more than 75% of cattle sold through auctions in Quebec. Producers have also invested collectively in food processing enterprises downstream from production.
Mission and values
The PBQ’s primary mandate is to defend and promote the professional, economic and social interests of Quebec cattle producers.
To ensure that Quebec cattle producers earn the highest possible net income and enjoy a decent standard of living, the PBQ have given itself the following mission:
- To support the development and growth of farm businesses, production, and the entire Quebec cattle industry, with a view to offering our ultimate customers – consumers – a high-quality product that meets their requirements;
- To manage collective marketing mechanisms efficiently, taking each production sector’s specific rate of development into account;
- To support unifying the concerns specific to the various production sectors as well as seeking solutions beneficial to all producers.
- Offering a response to increased consumer demand for differentiated products
- Dealing with fierce competition and market fluctuations
- Remoteness from slaughter plants
- Rebuilding the Quebec cattle herd
- Dealing with a cost of production differentiated from others
- Northern climate
- Small-scale farming operations compared to the rest of North America
- Highly strict standards (environment, traceability, certification, animal welfare, etc.)
Our dedicated presidents
Our elected representatives are a key part of the action. Through their engagement in the PGQ, they help set the organization’s priorities on behalf of Quebec beef farmers. Read on to learn more about them.
2020 to Present • Jean-Thomas Maltais
Mr. Jean-Thomas Maltais operates a 200-head feeder calf farm in Chicoutimi, in the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. He holds a diploma of college studies in administration from the Cégep de Chicoutimi. He is 42 years old and married with three children.
In 2000, he took over the farm from his father, Thomas (who was a dairy farmer at the time), together with his brother Claude-Michel and cousin Mathieu. Soon thereafter, they transitioned to beef production.
Mr. Maltais has sat on the PBQ board of directors as president of the feeder calf marketing committee since 2016; he has also served on the executive committee since 2017. From 2010 to 2018, he was a board member with the Fjord-du-Saguenay syndicate (within the UPA Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean Federation). He was actively involved in the Association des éleveurs de bovins de boucherie du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean from 2005 until it merged with the Producteurs de bovins du Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean.
2012 to 2020 • Claude Viel
Hailing from the Bas-Saint-Laurent region, Mr. Claude Viel is both a feeder calf producer and a dairy farmer, with extensive experience in both the beef and dairy sectors.
Mr. Viel first got involved in the PBQ in 1987 as feeder calf marketing committee representative. In 1995, he became president of the Bas-Saint-Laurent beef producers’ syndicate, sitting on the PBQ board of directors. He was elected to the PBQ executive committee in 2004 and became vice-president in 2010.
1994 to 2012 • Michel Dessureault
Initially a dairy farmer and later a cow-calf producer based in the Mauricie region, Mr. Michel Dessureault became the sixth PBQ president in 1994, the year the PBQ research fund took shape. Under his watch, several product quality measures were implemented (including grain-fed veal certification, feeder calf vaccination, and the Bœuf Qualité Plus program).
Mr. Dessureault was among those who helped implement the permanent identification and traceability program in 2002. In 2003, even amid the BSE crisis that devastated the beef sector, Mr. Dessureault helped producers make collective investments in structural businesses downstream of production—a watershed moment in the history of the joint plan.
1991 to 1994 • André Moreau
Mr. André Moreau, a dairy producer from the Saint-Hyacinthe area, served as PBQ president from 1991 to 1994. He helped create the feeder calf sales agency. His term was marked by the bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) crisis. His tenacious approach led him to secure significant financial assistance from the government, which saved businesses affected by BVD from bankruptcy.
1985 to 1991 • Gilles Laurent
Mr. Gilles Laurent, a cow-calf producer and cattle feeder from the Lanaudière region, headed the PBQ from 1985 to 1991. His six-year term saw the first major advances in the joint plan, including the creation of sales agencies for cull cattle and bob calves, grain-fed veal, and fed cattle as well as the payment guarantee fund.
1982 to 1985 • Jean-Guy Brossoit
From 1982 to 1985, Mr. Jean-Guy Brossoit, a fed cattle farmer from the Saint-Jean-Valleyfield area, finalized the negotiations that led to the adoption of the joint plan. Highlights from his term include two referendums in 1982: one for calf producers only and another for beef producers. Mr. Brossoit implemented the marketing committees and, importantly, initiated the first negotiations with auctions and abattoirs.
1978 to 1982 • Jean-Marie Tremblay
The joint plan materialized between 1978 and 1982 under the leadership of Mr. Jean-Marie Tremblay, a cow-calf producer and cattle feeder from the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. Known for being a skilled strategist, Mr. Tremblay partook in numerous negotiations and talks with various farmer groups to shape the beef and calf producers’ joint plan.
1975 to 1978 • Aimé Labonté
Mr. Aimé Labonté, a cow-calf producer from the Quebec City area, was the founding president of the Fédération des producteurs de bovins du Québec, serving from 1975 to 1978. Key developments during his term included the adoption of the Act respecting farm income stabilization insurance and the implementation of insurance plans for feeder calves and fed cattle.
Our diligent executive directors and secretaries
2017 to Present • André Roy
Mr. André Roy has worked as executive director since 2017. The majority of his career comprises thirty years of marketing in the agri-food sector, including work in international trade. In 2006, Mr. Roy became the PBQ’s marketing director for the fed cattle sector. He later occupied analogous roles, concurrently and consecutively, for the feeder calf and cull cattle and bob calf sectors.
In addition to his work experience, Mr. Roy holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Montreal as well as an MBA from the University of Sherbrooke. He also sits on the Canadian Beef Grading Agency board of directors.
2011 to 2017 • Jean-Philippe Deschênes-Gilbert
Mr. Jean-Philippe Deschênes-Gilbert was executive director of the PBQ from 2011 to 2017. He gained several years’ worth of experience, primarily as secretary for the young farmers’ association, before succeeding Mr. Gaëtan Bélanger in August 2011. After occupying several positions within the UPA, he broadened his experience in farm unionism by taking a position as mission head for FNSEA, France’s largest farmers’ union.
Mr. Deschênes-Gilbert also led a team of employees, primarily in marketing, as the PBQ undertook a major strategic planning initiative affecting all production sectors.
1985 to 2011 • Gaëtan Bélanger
In 1985, Mr. Gaëtan Bélanger became the sixth secretary of the PBQ, and the first to serve on a full-time basis. Previously, Mr. Bélanger had joined the team as a development officer in 1982. He was there for the second referendum on the joint plan in the fall of 1982. Mr. Bélanger was highly engaged in and dedicated to the cause of Quebec beef producers. His contributions in advancing the Quebec beef sector were significant. He assembled and managed a team, now numbering about thirty employees, that takes care of day-to-day marketing operations and works on various files to cultivate a business environment that fosters production development and growth for Quebec beef producers.
1981 to 1985 • Jean-Marc Bélanger
Having served from 1981 to 1985, Mr. Jean-Marc Bélanger was the organization’s fifth secretary. He was originally hired by the UPA as livestock production sector director (pork and beef). Mr. Bélanger joined the PBQ during a flurry of activity. He was part of the many negotiations and talks that eventually resulted in the holding of the two referendums on the joint plan. Heavy calf producers adopted the plan in the spring of 1982, and by December 29 of that year, the beef producers’ joint plan would cover all production in the province. Mr. Bélanger’s help in implementing the plan was significant: he helped create the marketing committees and got the initial negotiations with abattoirs and auctions under way. Among other things, his work led to the base contribution that helped to provide financial backing for the joint plan.
1981 • Jacques Morin
In 1981, Mr. Jacques Morin became the fourth secretary of the PBQ. Mr. Morin served for only a few months at the UPA as livestock production sector director (pork and beef). Following his brief tenure at the PBQ, Mr. Lemay took over on an interim basis.
1980 to 1981 • André-Côme Lemay
In the 1980–1981 period, Mr. André-Côme Lemay served as the third PBQ secretary, barely one year after having been promoted to the position of marketing services director with the UPA. In the summer of 1981, Mr. Lemay worked on the joint plan project at the Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec. He also helped with the referendum strategy to ensure a successful vote on the joint plan. He provided advisory services to the PBQ for several years until his retirement.
1976 to 1980 • Jacques Labrie
Mr. Jacques Labrie, who served as the second PBQ secretary from 1976 to 1980, also worked for the UPA. At that time, Mr. Labrie was livestock production sector director (pork and beef). He took an active role in creating the first ASRA programs covering the beef sector (for feeder calves in 1976 and for fed cattle in 1978). This was also the era of the Quebec government’s famous “socio-economic conferences.” Working with Mr. Jean Garon (who was agriculture minister at the time), Mr. Labrie helped draft the initial versions of the joint plan.
1975 to 1976 • Maurice Mercier
From 1975 to 1976, Mr. Maurice Mercier was the first secretary of the PBQ. At the time, he was director of the UPA’s marketing service. In 1979, Mr. Mercier was promoted to assistant secretary-general of the UPA. Mr. Mercier continued to work in association with the PBQ for several years thereafter.