After working at Sollio Cooperative Group and its network for over 40 years, CEO Gaétan Desroches announced his plans to retire and leave his position effective September 10. 

Pascal Houle, the cooperative’s current COO, will become the new CEO effective September 11, 2021, as per the organizational succession plan.

“On behalf of the members of the board, our employees and our cooperative members, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to Gaétan Desroches for his outstanding work not only during his tenure as CEO, but also throughout his 40-year career in our network. Under Gaétan Desroches’ leadership, Sollio Cooperative Group maintained its growth and strengthened its position as a leader in the Canadian agri-food and retail chain, and its sales increased from $5 to $8 billion in 6 years. Gaétan’s unifying leadership, down-to-earth, people-focused nature and passion for the agricultural cooperative community were strong assets that helped him get Sollio Cooperative Group to where it is today,” said Ghislain Gervais, President of Sollio Cooperative Group.

"I am very pleased to have contributed to Sollio Cooperative Group being recognized and respected for what it is, a great cooperative enterprise, well managed, owned by agricultural producers. It is therefore with a sense of accomplishment that I leave this organization and network, which has inspired me over the last 40 years. Working within the cooperative group model was a privilege that allowed me to combine cooperative values, in which I deeply believe, and business leadership. I am extremely grateful for the trust that agricultural producers, cooperatives, colleagues, and board members have put in me all these years. And for this, I would like to thank you immensely. I would also like to commend all of our great organization’s employees who work tirelessly to bring prosperity to farming families and feed the world. You will always have my utmost admiration,” said Desroches

 Pascal Houle is appointed as part of the succession plan

“I would like to congratulate Pascal Houle on his appointment as CEO. He has the full confidence and support of the Board of Directors. With his unifying leadership and skills, we are counting on him to make our desire of being Canada’s largest internationally successful agri-food cooperative a reality. His boldness, flexibility and diligence have set him apart since he first joined our network and continued to do so as BMR Group CEO and currently as Sollio COO. I have no doubt that these qualities will play a fundamental role in continuing our mission and meeting our objectives,” said Gervais.

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“I will carry out my new duties with great enthusiasm and I am honoured by the trust shown to me by the board. In recent years, our cooperative has changed much under Gaétan Desroches’ leadership, and I would also like to congratulate and thank him. In the coming years, my mandate will be to consolidate our acquisitions and continue positioning our organization as the benchmark for the agricultural and retail sectors. Building on our cooperative business model, Sollio Cooperative Group will continue working to ensure farming families prosper while shaping the agri-food sector of the future with Sollio Agriculture, Olymel and BMR Group,” said Houle.

Sollio Cooperative Group is formerly known as La Coop fédérée, changed its name in February 2020. According to the Poultry International Top Companies rankings, Sollio Cooperative Group is the 19th largest broiler company in North America. It is also involved in turkey production.

The company has also recently expanded its presence in the animal feed industry. During the past three years, it acquired Cargill’s grain and crop inputs retail assets in Ontario, Standard Nutrition Canada, a 50% stake in WS Feed & Supply, and F. Ménard.