|F. Ménard Inc.
Hog breeding and pork processing
Primary markets: Canada, United States
Number of employees: 855
Contact: Geneviève Ménard, communications coordinator
Going whole hog
Quebec’s strong agri-foods sector is driven in large part by family owned enterprises. F. Ménard Inc., one of the province’s largest pork producers is among its most successful. The company, which was founded by Fulgence Ménard in 1961, is now being run by his sons Pierre, Francois and Luc, its general manager. The latter has been working there since the age of 12, when he began pitching in to help the farm’s manager. By the age of 15 he was working full time.
Luc Ménard attributes the company’s success to its vertical integration, which enables it to control pork production stages, ranging from genetics to breeding, raising the animals, feed, transport, bio-security and processing. The company manages some distribution through a network of proprietary butcher shops. F. Ménard also puts back a large portion of its profits into operations, including a $500,000 annual research and development budget.
For example earlier this year F. Ménard announced a $14 million investment into its slaughter and meat cutting facility in Ange-Gardien Québec. Overseas sales, including exports of more than 60 percent of production to the United States and 50 other countries, which have been facilitated by a weakening Canadian dollar, have also contributed to its recent growth. Good relations with 200 affiliate producers, mostly farm owners who raise piglets that the company supplies them, are also key.
F. Ménard’s biggest strength though has been the second generation of owners’ ability to work well together. Their next challenge will be integrating those of their kids who want to get involved in the business.
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Peter Diekmeyer Communications Inc.