La Patate Lac-Saint-Jean, Cooperative of Potato Producers of Peribonka-Sainte-Marguerite-Marie, was created in 1979. It’s existence was the fruit of a grouping of agricultural producers who decided to unite with the common goal of marketing table potatoes.
From the beginning, the cooperative did business under the name La Patate Lac-Saint-Jean. It consolidated the commercial potential of nine farms and potato producers : Lucien Bergeron et fils, Daniel Bolduc et fils, Philippe Bolduc, Goulet et fils, Jean-Yves Lalancette, Rene Montminy et fils, Jean-Marc Niquet, Savard et Guay as well as Paul-Armand Theberge. At this time, the members of the cooperative cultivated 700 ha of table potatoes. The two main varieties were Kennebec and Green Mountain. In order to market their table potatoes, a bagging center was built in 1980 containing all the necessary equipment needed to bag the potatoes in all the available formats on the market. In 1985, the producers took a major turn in the development of their business, to produce certified Seed potatoes from their crops.
Today, La Patate Lac-Saint-Jean is comprised of six founding members of the cooperative: Bergeron-Niquet, Daniel Bolduc et fils, Philippe Bolduc et fils, Jean-Noel Goulet et fils, Jean-Yves Lalancette et fils as well as GGA Montminy. It is the only cooperative of potato producers still active in Quebec. Together, the growers cultivate an area greater than 1000 ha of potatoes. The cooperative offers more than 30 varieties, that meet the needs of different markets such as seed, transformation and table. It covers a territory including Eastern Canada and Eastern United States and exports as far as Mexico and Uraguay. Close to 60 000 000 pounds of potatoes are marketed yearly through intermediaries of La Patate Lac-Saint-Jean. The latter employs about 15 employees, 12 of which are assigned to the bagging center. The cooperative as well as it’s six farm members, which employ about 60 people collectively, are a major force in the local enconomy.