HISTORY OF THE FOUNDATION
In the 1920's, the maple industry was in a chaotic situation. Maple producers struggled to achieve their market share, which was in the grip of a foreign monopoly. The three sugaring schools organized by the government helped maple producers to discover modern techniques and produce better quality products. However, buyers cared very little about product quality and offered only four or five cents a pound - Take it or leave it. The arrival of falsified products was all the more worrying. Market demands were likely to cause ruin.
Faced with this situation, Quebec's Minister of Agriculture, Joseph-Édouard Caron, mandated Cyrille Vaillancourt, head of the beekeeping and maple syrup service, to find a solution. Having worked closely with Alphonse Desjardins, the founder of the Caisses Populaires, Mr. Vaillancourt understood cooperative principles. Inspired, he wanted to give more power to maple syrup producers so that they could take full control of their production and get a fairand equitable price. After consultation with J. Arthur Paquet, manager of the Coopérative Fédéree de Québec, the Cooperative project became reality.
A first Company of sugar and pure maple syrup producers from Quebec was organized in 1924 with seventeen producers from the parishes of St-Prosper, St-Zacharie, Ste-Rose, St-Philibert, St-Benjamin and Ste-Aurélie. The ffectiveness of the formula was proven and, the following year, on April 25, 1925, the Minister of Agriculture authorized the formation of the new agricultural Cooperative, Les Producteurs de sucre d'érable de Québec. On may 2, 1925, the Gazette announced that the Cooperaticve was incorporated with 102 members, and its headquarters located in Levis.
Official announcement of the incorporation of the agricultural cooperative society The Maple Sugar Producers' Cooperative of Quebec
DID YOU KNOW THAT
Shortly before the establishment of the Cooperative, an american buyer considered himself as the king of maple sugar?
George Clinton Cary founded in 1904, the Cary Maple Sugar Company in St. Johnsbury, in Vermont. He had a huge monopoly on the purchase of maple products in Quebec. Before the foundation of the Cooperative, Cyrille Vaillancourt went to meet him and tried to convince him to adjust its prices according to the quality of product purchased. In his memoirs, Mr. Vaillancourt said that Mr. Cary replied that he was "the king of maple sugar" and that he would continue to manage his market at he see fit. Then, Mr. Vaillancourt replied that he would bring together a producers cooperative. Mr. Cary would have laughed. Finally, Mr. Cary will go bankrupt in 1931, throwing on the market some 18 million pounds of sugar and causing the collapse of markets; price became completely ridiculous
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CYRILLE VAILLANCOURT (1892-1969)
THERE IS NO
ALL FOR ONE
AT THE SAME TIME,
A NECESSARY COUNTERPART:
ONE FOR ALL
Cyrille Vaillancourt In front of the Cooperative's Head Office
©Citadelle Archives, Maple Syrup Producers' Cooperative
Cyrille Vaillancourt was a journalist, a businessman and a political figure who enjoyed a distinguished career. A cooperative veteran, he remains among the most important members of the cooperative movement in Quebec. Founder of the agricultural Cooperative society, Les producteurs de sucre d'érable de Québec, he remained as manager until his death on October 30, 1969, at the age of 77.
Born in St-Anselme on January 17, 1892, the son of a doctor and member of the House of Commons, Cyrille Vaillancourt studied at the College de Lévis and the Oka agricultural faculty. In November 1915, he became a beekeeping expert for the Ministry of Agriculture for the Province of Quebec and leader of the beekeeping service. In 1918, he was entrusted with the sugar service. Following the critical situation of the maple industry and being a firm believer in cooperative principles, he founded the agricultural Cooperative, Les producteurs de sucre d'érable de Québec, in 1925. He created the periodical L'Abeille in 1918, which became L'Abeille et L'érable in 1928.
In 1924, he was elected Director of the Caisse populaire de Lévis and, in 1932, he became the general director of the Fédération des Caisses populaires Desjardins. He created the journal, La Caisse populaire Desjardins in 1935, which became La Revue Desjardins six years later. An important figure in the development of the Federation, he earned the title of second founder of the Mouvement des Caisses populaires Desjardins.
In 1935, he received an honorary doctorate in agricultural sciences from Laval university. He as appointed legislative councillor in 1945, and Senator the following year. He was also a school trustee for 35 years in Lévis and was active with the Société Saint-Vincent-de-Paul for 55 years. Cyrille Vaillancourt was still active right up to his death in 1969.
©Citadelle Archives, Maple syrup producers' cooperative
From these experiments, Mr. Vaillancourt published the book Nos érablières in 1921. Publishing only 1000 copies, it didn't sell.
Minister of Agriculture of the Province of Quebec
Republished on 3 occasions in collaboration with the Minister of Agriculture, they finally experience some success.
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THE COOPERATIVE SIGNATURE
ONE MEMBER, ONE VOTE
As a democratic organization, the Cooperative has, since its formation, promoted the exchange, communication and commitment of members. An annual meeting allows members to actively participate in decision-making and the establishment of the mission, policies and business orientation. With nearly 2000 members in 10 administrative regions, CITADELLE has established a system in which members are represented at meetings by one regional representative for every 10 members. These representatives are the cornerstones of effective and transparent communication between members and elected officials.
THE IMAGE EVOLUTION
On May 2, 1925, the Cooperative was officially incorporated as Les producteurs de sucre d'érable de Québec (The maple sugar producers of Quebec). The first logo was a yellow, blue ans red crest featuring the word "pure". In the 50s a diamond was added with an image of the Citadelle in Quebec City.
In the mid 60s, the logo became a maple leaf highlighted with a ribbon. It was not until October 15, 1966, that the name was changed to Les Producteurs de sucre d'érable du Québec.
Finally, on June 12, 1996, came the new logo and the new name we know to this day: Citadelle, coopérative de producteurs de sirop d'érable (Citadelle, maple syrup producers' cooperative). This new name highlights the first trademark of the company patented in 1927, CITADELLE.
The idea to name the first brand CITADELLE came at the beginning of the Cooperative. The head office then occupied the premises of a credit union in Lévis. Employees had a view on La Citadelle de Québec, on the other side of the river.
©Citadelle Archives, Maple Syrup Producers' Cooperative