About

PlastiTech’s overview

Founded in 1984, PlastiTech is a leader in the innovation of animal bedding and agricultural plastic films to support vegetable cultures and forage conservation. PlastiTech, which collaborates with both distributors and producers, makes sure their clients are being heard, honored and attain the greatest satisfaction. The company’s targets are the development and promotion of innovative techniques to ensure that North American agriculture, horticulture and farming aim at full capacity and surpass international standards.

A genuine expertise

Since 1948, the Charbonneau family has worked closely with producers across Canada. Louis Charbonneau, the company’s founder, started working in the agricultural field at a very young age, which eventually led him to get a college diploma in vegetable horticulture. His studies along with his great experience in that area helped him conceiving groundbreaking agricultural techniques, which allowed producers to profit from certain cultures that wouldn’t have been profitable otherwise. At 16, he got into the business by working temporarily in the chemical farming sector, although the use of chemical fertilizers preoccupied him. At that age, he was already forward-thinking, and thus got an idea:  using plastic mulches to protect vegetable crops while meeting business production requirements, using a method that was more ecological. He then created PlastiTech and introduced plastic films to North American agriculture. Rich from his experience as a producer and his numerous conferences across the globe -including France, Holland, England and California-, his experience served his company’s success tremendously.  Over the years, he was mandated by several embassies to give conferences in developing countries. Close collaborations with the departments of Agriculture of Quebec and Canada as well as various business trips across Europe and the Middle East allowed him to establish advanced agricultural technologies in North America. His undeniable passion for agriculture and his ongoing concern to innovate and bring new technologies within that area favored PlastiTech to be a predecessor in terms of horticulture, agriculture and forage techniques.

Imperishable values

PlastiTech seeks quality, improvement, discovery, investment, service and efficiency to relentlessly reform the agricultural field. The company is a true pioneer when it comes to agrarian techniques and forage conservation to support farmers, thanks to its strong family roots and the international expertise acquired before, during and after its establishment. Targeting excellence since PlastiTech’s first steps, Louis Charbonneau is recognized worldwide as a public speaker for his drive, his abilities and his experience.

 

The company’s evolution

1966-1983

From 1966 to 1975, Louis Charbonneau worked at Cyanamid, a chemical fertilizer production facility. By 1972 -and up until 1986-, he became a technical advisor and sales agent at Centre Horticole J.-G. This position led him to participate in several conferences around the world and set up projects with various universities as well as the Departments of Agriculture both in Québec and Canada.

In 1976, at the age of 16, he went to France for a month on behalf of the Québec government. He met teachers and scholars in order to study techniques that would allow self-sustainability for fruits and vegetables in Québec. When he returned from Europe, he implemented plasticulture in the province of Quebec. Around that time, he bought a land and a watering company specializing in protecting grass from trees and insects, as well as working for his father over every summer.

In 1978, he graduated from the Saint-Hyacinthe “Institut de technologie agroalimentaire”, majoring in vegetable horticulture.

By the time he reached 18, he was importing masterbatches in order to produce photodegradable plastic mulch covers.

In 1980, he sold the watering company in order to dedicate himself to new projects.

1984-1989

In 1984, Louis Charbonneau sold his land to concentrate solely on developing markets in North America as well as in Europe. He founded PlastiTech and obtained a manufacturers’ agent permit in order to work with Esso in North America and Elf Aquitaine, a European oil company. His activity with those two companies included producing duties and product marketing. Photodegradable plastic mulch covers resulted from these collaborations. This new technology allowed Quebec’s sweetcorn production to begin two weeks earlier than it normally would.

From the very start, the company concentrated on building the farm machinery needed to unfold the plastic mulch covers in which vegetables would be transplanted.

Between 1984 and 1986, the company  built mini-tunnels  and floating roofs. These would change drastically the way fruits and vegetables were grown, allowing for a longer lifespan. A disc seed was made to support the mini-tunnels, as well as hilling tractors  to  ensure  the  plastic  mulch  would  actually  stick  to  the  ground. Seeders were made to plant sweetcorn through the plastic mulch covers. Around 1989, new coating equipment was made. The company was the first to use plastic wrappers on round hay baies in North America in order to help maximize dairy farmer’s production. This side of the business was eventually sold so the company would concentrate on developing plastic formulation in both market gardening and silaging fields.

1990-2004

Throughout the 1990s, PlastiTech increased its impact on the american market by promoting products and technologies which were previously developed. Offices got set up in New Jersey and in Ontario, in addition to a warehouse in Florida. At that time, the company’s activity expanded dramatically. The sale’s turnover increased rapidly and quickly reached tens of millions of dollars. Sales agents, manufacturer’s representatives, accountants and customer service staff were hired to keep pace with the firms’ success.

Between 1995 and the early 2000s, PlastiTech introduced the drip irrigation technique, a technology that saves a significant amount of water and allows for a greater precision in fertilizing and watering crops.

2005-2009

In 2005, PlastiTech proceeded to reorganize the whole company, which up until then used to participate in both distribution and retail sales. In order to concentrate its efforts onto the distribution part, more energy was devoted to forage conservation and plastic films. Louis Charbonneau’s children took over the retail division, that eventually transformed into the company Dubois Agrinovation, which finally became a client. That decision allowed PlastiTech to focus on developing new products and technologies.

In 2005, the enterprise also began manufacturing and marketing multi-bay high tunnels, which are unheated shelters, a compromise between crops and greenhouses. These tunnels created an artificial microclimate and were designed to increase efficiency by adding a month worth of harvesting for certain fruits and vegetables. That project also aimed at reducing pesticides and lasted up until 2013.

Since 2005, the firm is mandated by Berry Plastics to develop and market plastic film covers both in horticulture and silage in North America. Additionally, the Argentinean company IPESA mandates PlastiTech for grain and forage conservation.

2010-2017

In 2010, organic peat moss bedding was developed by the company. It is the first animal bedding matter that is truly absorbing in the animal farming field.  The company actively developed this new technology during a few years, up until the acquisition of a factory that exploits peat moss, in 2016, as well as peat  bogs  to exploit the matter and create the bedding.

Nowadays, PlastiTech continues to be a leading innovator in plastic film covers in agriculture, silage and animal bedding fields, both as an agent and as a manufacturer of new technologies.

Innovations

PlastiTech is proud of its innovations that have been able to revolutionize North American agricultural methods. Here are some of its biggest accomplishments since the establishment of the company:

  • A true revolution of agricultural methods and vegetable production across Canada and the United States. Introduction of plastic film covers to maintain the quality of forage. It has progressively replaced silos.
  • Introduction of floating covers as well as drip-irrigation.
  • Development of techniques allowing certain cultures (watermelon, cantaloupe…) to be profitable in Québec.
  • Development of high-density strawberries using plastic mulches that allow their production to last 6 months instead of 2 weeks.
  • Development of artificial windbreaks that improve the performance and efficiency of crops.
  • Conception of animal bedding that is truly absorbing (as opposed to current matters used on the market) for animal farming.