|The Mérite Horticole presentation.
PHOTO BY PASCAL VINH NGUYEN, PRODUCTION EXIT 005
The 2008 Méritas awards were handed out during the 15th edition of Semaine Horticole in Boucherville. The awards recognized the achievements of nine producers and researchers for their contributions to the development of Québec’s horticulture industry.
Award presenters included Gérard Boutin, at left in top photo, and Pierre Girouard, far right. André Mousseau, second from left, and Raymond Rouleau were two of those honoured this year.
For its part, the province’s greenhouse growers association, the Syndicat des producteurs en Serres du Québec (SPSQ), awarded its Méritas prizes to a pair of longtime industry contributors, Raymond Rouleau and Blanche Dansereau.
ORNAMENTAL GROWER HAS
STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL TIES
In 1975, Rouleau founded his ornamental greenhouse operation – Serres Dame Nature – in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, some 200 kilometres north of Québec City. It produces, imports and distributes plants and potted flowers across the province.
Selling to florists, independent garden centres, banner stores and directly to the public, Rouleau early on identified a niche market where regional supply was practically non-existent. The distance to mass markets, coupled with the absence of regional distributors, pushed him to launch his own distribution network as well, which contributed to the company’s continuing success.
Always maintaining a strong regard for the environment and sustainable development, Rouleau has for a decade presided over the Québec Centre for Sustainable Development, which develops application models of sustainable development for organizations and companies. He has also served as regional representative for the SPSQ since its inception.
PHOTO COURTESY DR. BLANCHE DANSEREAU
Vermont-born Blanche Dansereau received her higher education in the United States, but it could be said she received her higher calling north of the border.
Obtaining a doctorate in decorative horticulture from the University of Georgia in 1976, Dansereau was recruited by Université de Laval as the first female professor in the plant science department. Dansereau taught more than 5,000 students over 31 years, conducting extensive research and drawing widespread acclaim for her accomplishments. She published scores of reviews, reports and articles.
SPSQ PRESIDENT RECEIVES MÉRITE HORTICOLE AWARD
The Mérite Horticole prize was awarded to André Mousseau, the organization’s president. Mousseau is also president of the SPSQ and owner of Le Cactus Fleuri, the province’s leading cactus producer in Sainte-Madeleine, making him one of the busiest recipients to ever receive the award.
SPSQ secretary Eric Chagnon said Mousseau was unaware he was to receive the award. “He didn’t know what was going on until he saw his kids and wife enter the hall. Then he knew something was up!”
Joel Ceausu is a freelance writer and photographer in Québec.