Producing on the island and for the island: good practices for supplying local circuits in Montreal’s CPEs

This webinar and resources are only available in French.
On December 9, 2021, with Collectif Récolte, we presented a panel aimed at highlighting the ongoing collaboration between Les Jardins Carya and the CPE Jardins les Frimousses and Le Sablier.


The discussion made it possible to address the best practices to be put in place to ensure direct supply from a producer, but was also an opportunity to discuss the existing challenges, and to propose possible solutions for remediate.

The Early Childhood Centers (CPE) Jardins des Frimousses and Le Sablier  began their collaboration with Jardins Carya a little over 3 years ago.

  • The current environment is increasingly favorable to this type of initiative. The various existing programs, , including the Local and Integrated Food System in Montreal (SALIM) program, the meetings of buyers of the Biofood Industries Council of the Island of Montreal (CIBÎM) and the Commun'Assiette community of practice, led by Équiterre and Aliments du Québec, facilitate this kind of collaboration and support the actors in their approach. While they are necessary, they are however not sufficient, and it is the deep-seated desire to do things differently that remains the main driver of these initiatives.
  • Collaboration is possible through the sharing of similar values. Trust is key to building lasting relationships.
  • An important point is that of the establishment of the contract. The establishment of a contract is still rare between the producer and CPE. This lack of contract allows flexibility for CPEs but creates a lack of visibility and increased risk for producers. Indeed, it would be desirable for producers to have a contract in order to be able to plan their crops, their operations and guarantee a stable supply. This aspect of the relationship deserves to be further explored, as it could be beneficial for CPEs as well (stability of demand and prices).
  • An IT tool, such as the Arrivage platform, is now adapted to CPE markets to meet their specific needs.
  • The benefits of having products directly from an agricultural company are obvious for food managers in CPEs and children: the taste is much more pronounced and the freshness, quality and longevity are incomparable. This is very rewarding, and it is a very strong awareness tool that children take home.
  • Freshness allows kitchen teams to reduce food waste, and to do the processing themselves to stretch the availability of fresh, healthy and local products.
  • For Les Jardins Carya, this kind of initiative makes it possible to make children aware of what is most fundamental, that is to say the connection with our natural environment and food. It is necessary that more producers turn to this market and that all CPEs can obtain supplies directly from local agricultural companies.
  • Within CPEs, close collaboration between management and food services is essential. Good annual planning allows the reconciliation of the budget with the needs of the kitchen.
  • The overhead is not significant. Since the food is of higher quality, there is less waste, which translates into better profitability. A telling anecdote: the carrots are of such quality that they do not need to be peeled, which reduces loss.
  • A suitable transformation space is essential to be able to set up these kinds of initiatives. It is important to give CPEs the means to have kitchen equipment and a suitable workspace to engage in this kind of partnership.
  • A purchasing policy adapted to seasonality sometimes involves compromises. For example, making do with imported bananas and oranges in the winter so that you can serve local berries in the summer.
  • In the end, common sense and mutual trust take precedence over price logic and are at the heart of the success of these collaborations.


Presentation (pdf)

Biofood Industries Council of the Island of Montreal (CIBÎM) Buyer meetings

Deployment of the little flavor ambassadors program

NOTE: The provincial deployment of Les Petits Ambassadeurs aims to deploy the accreditation concept initially developed in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, intended for educational childcare services respecting a minimum of regional and Quebec supply and offering educational activities related to the world. agri-food. Driven by the Regroupement des TCBQ from 16 regions of Quebec, including Montreal, success is based on strategic networking of this market with regional biofood companies.

The Little Ambassadors accreditation is intended for CPEs as well as daycare centers in subsidized and non-subsidized facilities. Are you interested in this program? Click here.

Aliments du Québec au menu 

Availability list, Jardins Carya

Collectif Récolte, Calls for interest and project

Practical Sheet "Practical sheet "The key recipe for a local food supply is eco-responsible - Early childhood environment"

Conservation guide for better conservation of organic and local products


Julie Sage, agr., logistics and distribution manager

Louis Lafortune, supply solutions manager


Caroline Arel, Executive Director, CPE Jardin des Frimousses

Julie Morin, Chef and food manager, CPE Le Sablier

Ramzy Kassouf, Co-owner, Director of Sales and Development, Les Jardins Carya

Dominique Lacroix, Advisor, Sustainable Food Sourcing, Commun'assietteÉquiterre

Thibault Renouf, Platform co-founder Arrivage