MONTRÉAL, Oct. 14, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - The Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB) is proud to announce the launch of MontréalCulteurs, a unique program that offers a combination of consulting, incubation and networking services to facilitate urban agricultural business start-ups in Montréal. The program is designed to meet well documented needs and supports the development of urban farms, whether commercial endeavours or social economy enterprises.

Palais des congrès de Montréal - Urban rooftop (CNW Group/Palais des congrès de Montréal)

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The MontréalCulteurs program will provide assistance and connect property owners and property managers who have an empty space at their disposal—a roof, basement, commercial space, parking lot or vacant lot—with urban agriculture businesses (cooperatives, non-profits or private enterprises) looking for a place to set up an urban farm in order to grow vegetables, mushrooms, micro-sprouts, flowers or grapes, raise insects or fish, or farm bees. Urban agricultural concerns also benefit from three entrepreneurial training streams specializing in urban agriculture, a project incubator, a series of workshops and a diverse program of events (webinars, guided tours and networking opportunities) offered by urban agriculture experts.

"Over the last 10 years, commercial urban agriculture has been growing exponentially. Today, Montréal is a leader in urban agriculture and home to 45 farms, more than any other city in the world. The MontréalCulteurs program will consolidate that leadership position and provide a springboard to keep Montreal going over the next decade." – Jean-Philippe Vermette, Director, Public Policy and Programs, Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine

MontréalCulteurs draws its inspiration from the Parisculteurs, a successful program launched by the city of Paris in 2016 to support a wide range of agricultural projects.

Partners
The MontréalCulteurs program was made possible by a partnership with the City of Montréal. It receives funding from the Québec government under the Action-Climat Québec program and meets the objectives of the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy.

MontréalCulteurs also benefits from the know-how of the École des entrepreneurs du Québec's Montréal campus and the expertise of L'ARTERRE, a support and twinning service established in 2016 and coordinated by the Quebec Reference Center for Agriculture and Agri-food (CRAAQ), that contributes to the vitality of Québec communities and the productive use of farmland across the province.

MontréalCulteurs relies on the steadfast confidence of its visibility partners (the Centrale Agricole cooperative, Maison du développement durable and Palais des congrès de Montréal) to help showcase its initiatives.

Quotations
"The new 2030 Plan for a Green Economy is a meaningful government step toward meeting the many collective challenges posed by the climate emergency, but the participation of society as a whole is essential if we are to achieve our climate goals. The government cannot do it alone. It needs organizations like the Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine to sensitize, motivate and train the men and women on the ground in order to change our lifestyles and consumption habits. That's why the MontréalCulteurs project is supported by Action-Climat Québec. It's projects like this one that will achieve lasting social transformation." – Benoit Charette, Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Minister Responsible for the Fight Against Racism and Minister Responsible for the Laval Region.

"The City of Montréal is very proud to contribute to the creation of the MontréalCulteurs program to help start new urban farms in the heart of the city. Thanks to the assistance provided, entrepreneurs will have a solid business plan to ensure their businesses' future. Property managers who welcome these farms will be able to generate value from their under-used spaces. By supporting MontréalCulteurs—an initiative that supports the goals of the 2021 economic recovery plan and 2021-2026 Urban Agriculture Strategy—the City is encouraging the growth of an emerging economic sector that will help build a green, resilient Montréal and showcase its achievements." – Véronique Doucet, Director of Montréal's Service du développement économique.

About the Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine (AU/LAB)
The Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine is a not-for-profit organization devoted to research, training, innovation, and action in the area of urban agriculture and food. As a nationally and internationally recognized authority in urban agriculture, the laboratory boasts a wealth of expertise and more than 12 years of experience. Its responsibilities include management of the Carrefour de recherche, d'expertise et de transfert en agriculture urbaine (CRETAU). Thanks to its partnership with the Palais des congrès de Montréal, the laboratory has 2,000 m2 of space devoted to agricultural production, agronomic and economic research and support services. The roof of the Palais des congrès is one of Québec's leading showcases for experimentation and promoting urban agricultural techniques and technologies (it even boasts the very first northern rooftop vineyard, set up in 2017 by the incubated business Vignes en ville) and supports the Laboratoire sur l'agriculture urbaine's efforts to promote MontréalCulteurs, its new, groundbreaking program. These initiatives will no doubt inspire other Montréal property owners in the years to come. 

Related links
More information: montrealculteurs.ca | au-lab.ca
Press kit: montrealculteurs.ca/dossier-de-presse

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Last update: October 14, 2021