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A Genuine Laboratory

The reintroduction and development of the Canadienne cattle breed is an enormous challenge in a system which was, until very recently, mainly reserved to Holsteins. This system deserves a much needed overhaul, from genetics to the enhancement of milk – and to also include other assorted milk production methods. This production method particularity can be explained by the extremely harsh conditions facing conventional agriculture in this region. Dairying standards for Charlevoix’s Canadienne cow’s milk destined for cheesemaking restrict producers to feeding their animals a strict diet of dry forage without silage. However, these restrictions represent a sizeable obstacle. The highlands’ northern climate makes it very difficult to grow such forage, whereby the call for a much needed study to provide solutions adapted to this terroir.

« The Charlevoix project is a genuine laboratory for the Canadienne and terroir-based dairy network. It’s a development project that spans over the next 20 years – perhaps even longer. »

Genetic integrity restoration of the Canadienne is necessary to re-establish the aptitudes of this breed from bygone days, and adapt it to our new production methods. As a project, it goes against global and industrial agricultures’ new and invasive trends. The development of a breed on the brink of extinction presents a considerable challenge. In fact, the manner in which we view development needs to change; we must dare to go about things differently. In the short or long term, the development of the Canadienne breed’s traditional-type genetics implies enormous financial and human resources. The Canadienne cattle breed has the amazing good fortune of having preserved semen and embryos from another era, which we hope to reinvest with this breed’s much sought after aptitudes and characteristics, which are better adapted to terroir-based production.

It must be said that nothing is left to chance. Charlevoix’s terroir wishes to spotlight its distinctiveness and take matters into its own hands, guaranteeing its future through the development of products linked to its origins. This worksite is a genuine laboratory that requires research and development to take up the colossal challenge of creating a Canadienne milk network in Charlevoix!