St-Hyacinthe, Quebec
Food additives for farm animals
Primary markets: offices in five continents
Number of employees: 210
Jean Fontaine, president

Feeding in the additives market

The average age of Canadian farmers is increasing, as are farm sizes and industry competition. Since owners generally already put in 12 to 16 hour days, working harder is no longer an option. That means farmers need to work smarter. Jefo, led by Jean Fontaine, its founder and president, helps them to do that.

Jefo produces feed additives used in the poultry, swine, dairy and aquaculture sectors, which enable farmers to raise better quality and healthier livestock. Jefo products contribute in a variety of ways, notably by boosting nutrient content in animal feed, improving manure quality and reducing the occurrence of certain diseases.

Jefo, which boasts offices on five continents, services clients in more than 55 countries. Demand is clearly strong. The company has almost doubled in size during the past five years, due in large part to its large range of offerings, many of which were developed in house. These include a line of original enzyme, acidifier and essential oil products. Fontaine, an animal nutritionist by trade, is a big believer in innovation. Jefo, which invests regularly in research and development, boasts a 30-person technical team comprised of agronomists and veterinarians, many of whom have masters and PhD degrees.

Jefo offers clients a just-in-time delivery model, through which it produces, acquires and stores products and ships them as they require. In recent years, Jefo, which Fontaine founded in 1982, has been making increasing efforts on the export front. The weak loony, which makes locally-produced goods more competitive in overseas markets, and recent Canadian trade deals with European and Pacific nations, should help. As for the future, Fontaine is currently integrating two of his seven children, Jean-Francois and Emilie, into the business. However with the other five kids still in school, he will likely get more job applications during coming years.


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