March 19, 2010, Portneuf, Qué – Marie Gosselin has been honoured with one of five 2010 FCC (Farm Credit Canada) Rosemary Davis Awards for leadership and commitment to the Canadian agriculture and agri-food industry.
The award was created in 2005 to honour Rosemary Davis, FCC’s first female board chair. Davis was a successful agribusiness owner and operator for many years, and active in the industry. Judging criteria for the award include demonstrated leadership, community involvement, and making a difference in agriculture by displaying passion for the industry and a clear vision for its future.
Gosselin started working at Les Serres du Saint-Laurent 20 years ago and became its president and CEO in 2008. At the helm of the largest greenhouse operation in Québec, she has made tremendous contributions to the company’s growth.
Les Serres du Saint-Laurent specializes in greenhouse tomatoes, in particular the Savoura brand tomato, which currently accounts for over 55 per cent of Québec’s annual tomato sales. The company’s five locations employ a total of 250 people and generate $30 million in sales. The greenhouses cover 18 acres, the equivalent of 35 football fields.
In 2007, Gosselin was the driving force behind a new greenhouse complex – the first of its kind in Québec – heated with biogas from a landfill site. The operation has developed its own unique expertise using artificial lighting. “Producers come from all over the world to see how it works,” she adds.
Gosselin serves on several boards and is very active in the greenhouse industry as vice-president of the Syndicat des producteurs en serres du Québec (UPA) and director of the Québec Produce Marketing Association. She is also involved in the Dispute Resolution Commission, an international organization that ensures smooth trading of produce between Canada, Mexico and the United States.
In 1994, she won the Québec Métro young entrepreneur award and, in 2005, the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association and the Salon de l’Agriculture presented her with the Cérès award for agri-marketing person of the year.
“My vision has always been to build a name and a brand synonymous with quality and reliability of our agricultural products,” says Gosselin. “For this to happen, you need teamwork. It’s essential. Teamwork is what makes us strong and people really value it.”
Other 2010 winners are:
• Bette Jean Crews – hog and crops producer, industry leader, teacher and volunteer – Trenton, Ont.
• Gay Hahn – dairy producer, industry leader, educator and volunteer – Burnaby, B.C.
• Jeannie van Dyk – dairy and crops producer, volunteer, mentor and teacher – Noel Shore, N.S.
• Margaret Rempel – hog and crops producer, volunteer, industry and community leader – Ste. Anne, Man.
For biographies of all the winners, visit www.fccrosemarydavisaward.ca.