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CDPQ launches $125m fund for Quebec agri

Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ will make direct and fund investments designed to support Quebec’s agri businesses, new farmers and established family farmers.

Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec has launched a C$125 million ($91.7 million; €84.17 million) fund that will make direct and fund investments in agri-focused small to medium enterprises and family businesses.

The fund, Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ, will make investments between C$1 million and C$30 million, according to a company statement.

CDPQ said the fund’s investments will focus on businesses and SMEs that improve farmers’ access to modern equipment to expand operations.

“Agri-food is a complex, diverse and cutting edge sector that requires a long-term, viable business environment tailored to its distinctive features, particularly to foster development, innovation and business transfers to the next generation,” said CDPQ executive vice president Christian Dube.

CDPQ said that Fonds agroalimentaire CDPQ will look to partner with businesses across the value chain – from agricultural production to distribution and marketing – for the wide variety of crops produced in the region, including maple syrup, pork, dairy products, grains and others.

“The strategy presented today aims to maximize la Caisse’s impact and expand its presence throughout the value chain and among all types of business and of projects by covering the entire agri-food sector,” CDPQ wrote.

CDPQ noted that the agri-food sector contributes $22 billion to Quebec’s annual GDP and is responsible for 500,000 jobs in the province.

CDPQ manages funds for public and para-public pensions in Quebec and has $270.7 billion in net assets. In late 2015, it led a C$300 million funding round for Canadian dairy processing cooperative Agropur and last month made a majority investment of an undisclosed size in Switzerland-based Datamars, which provides Radio Frequency Identification devices for cattle.