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Que. co-ops buy stake in bulk feed transport business

Quebec’s federation of co-operatives and one of its largest farm supply co-ops have bought a 50 per cent stake in a major Quebec feed company’s transport business.

Coop Federee and Coop Comax on Friday announced a partnership deal with feed company Jefo for a stake in its Transbordement St-Hyacinthe and Transport Nalaco subsidiaries, for an undisclosed sum.

St-Hyacinthe and Nalaco, both part of Jefo’s logistics division, both specialize in shipment and transloading of bulk products by truck and rail.

The deal “demonstrates the wish of these three businesses to offer farmers in Eastern Canada economical access to animal feed inputs,” Coop Federee said in a release Friday.

Coop Federee CEO Claude Lafleur described the agreement as a logical extension of the business relationship the co-ops have had with Jefo founder Jean Fontaine and his staff. It will also further the co-ops’ interests in livestock, grain and energy, as the Jefo transport business includes a major storage site for propane, he said.

Transbordement St-Hyacinthe’s HACCP-certified facilities will also serve a strategic use for Coop Federee, and both companies have a great potential for development, Coop Federee chief operating officer Gaetan Desroches said.

Nalaco, meanwhile, has a substantial fleet of trucks and an “excellent reputation” for customer service,” said Patrice Gagnon, CEO of Ste-Hyacinthe-based Coop Comax, formed through the mergers of five regional ag co-ops between 1977 and 2009.

Furthermore, Coop Federee said, the two transport firms offer easy access to bulk loading of rail cars at “favourable rates,” and also offer a new loading site with a 150-car spot.

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