Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre

Welcome to CRDA, the Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada).  The Centre focuses on conducting research and developing methods to preserve food and maintain its quality, and to process food safely and efficiently. Research is also conducted on food ingredients having health and other benefits beyond basic nutritional values. In this virtual visit, you’ll be invited to vision a short video of the Centre and meet two of their highly – qualified researchers who will present the many activities done in the CRDA to support the Canadian agri-food industry development.

Patates Dolbec

Patates Dolbec is a family business that has carved out a place of choice in the agri-food world thanks to hard work, an unwavering passion for agriculture and a dynamic team that combines experience and innovative spirit in the culture of potato. Patates Dolbec ensures the potato production chain from A to Z, from plantlets in the laboratory to distribution of potatoes in grocery stores. To achieve this while maintaining our quality standards, we rely on state-of-the-art equipment operated by competent and conscientious staff.  In addition to potatoes, Patates Dolbec grows cereal grains and green manures in order to rotate the land and thus promote healthy and productive soil. Our agricultural machinery relies on GPS systems that accurately calculate doses and assist guidance systems on tractors that operate automatically, under the watchful eye of the driver monitoring the cameras. Tech and artificial intelligence don't just ensure the performance and quality of our products - they also help improve agriculture with a view to greening operations. For example, by changing application techniques, it was possible to reduce inputs significantly.

In 2019, we invested $ 9 million for a new state-of-the-art potato storage warehouse, in addition to the $ 12 million injected in 2017 to expand our packing center. With an annual production of more than 10 million 4 kg bags per year, it was necessary to review the manufacturing procedure to be more flexible and to ensure efficient packaging of the products. The old packing center no longer met our production needs, and a visit to the four corners of the world allowed us to find the best techniques. This is how the packaging center 4.0 was born, characterized by a digital shift connected in real time. This is one of the most modern factories in Canada! Automation is at its best: machines, systems and products exchange information with each other as well as outside the factory over the Internet. This way, you can monitor everything that is happening in the factory in real time, from stock to sales. The traceability system even makes it possible, thanks to the code indicated on the packaging of the potatoes, to trace all the way traveled from the beginning to the end of the process. Non-value-added tasks are now performed by robots. We also believe in our Quebec entrepreneurs and in enhancing the local economy: several suppliers to our factory come from Quebec! We invite you to watch our capsule if you are curious to see and understand everything!