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**Avoid** Les Fermes Saint Vincent in Atwater and Jean Talon markets

s
Siumaieater Nov 1, 2013 08:40 AM

So I've been going to Les Fermes Saint Vincent for bio meat, especially bio chicken, which I've always assumed came from their farm. After all, the chicken located in their fridge is packaged in a transparent plastic bag with a label that reads "Les Fermes Saint-Vincent". I therefore purchased this chicken countless times accepting to pay more in exchange for the fact that these came from their farm.

Alas, I recently discovered that this butcher is far from honest.

On a very quiet Monday, as I walked through the market, I spotted one of their workers opening dozens of bags of chicken from the Les Voltigeurs farm, and then repackaging them in the aforementioned Fermes Saint-Vincent bag. This kind of practise does not appear legal from a Consumer Protection Act standpoint (of which Article 219 states "No merchant, manufacturer or advertiser may, by any means whatever, make false or misleading representations to a consumer"). Moreover, Les Voltigeurs chicken can be purchased at almost any supermarket or butcher (it is much cheaper at Adonis or PA for example). In essence, Les Fermes Saint Vincent appears to be ripping people off.

On another day, I asked the merchant where the chicken in the fridge was coming from, to see whether the man would lie. He answered that it came from Les Fermes Saint Vincent. I pressed him by asking again: "so that chicken it that fridge it from Les Fermes Saint Vincent"? The merchant then became nervous and half mumbled something about some other farms being associated to Les Fermes Saint Vincent.

BTW, their Pork is also not from their "Farm", but rather from "duBreton" (the largest scale bio pork producer in North America, which can also be found for much cheaper at IGA). Porcmeilleur is sold directly from their farm in Sainte Madeleine, is significantly better tasting and is much cheaper.

Needless to say I will not be going back there.

  1. l
    lagatta Nov 1, 2013 09:02 AM

    I always wait for sales on Les Voltigeurs organic chickens at PA.

    Never buy Fermes Saint Vincent since it is too expensive for my budget, much as I like to buy local, organic and small producer. We used to get chickens from a small farmer who did the box-delivery system, but alas he is not well and no longer producing them.

    You should file a complaint, if you think they have indeed done something shady.

    1. j
      JerkPork Nov 1, 2013 09:25 AM

      Be sure to clarify some points with them. I have spoken to the old man on numerous occasions about their meats, what they produce who butchers them, etc...For example they don't hide the fact (if you ask) that they source their lamb from other organic farmers in Quebec. I have been told that their pork comes from "Viande BIO de Charlevoix" (http://www.viandesbiocharlevoix.com/) but it's du Breton that has to slaughter/process the pork, hence the packaging you see in their display. The chicken I've been told does come from their farm, it's possible I was misled or it's possible that you are seeing Voltigeurs packaging because like du Breton it might be that Voltigeurs slaughter their chickens and hence the packaging. I will ask them next time.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JerkPork
        s
        Siumaieater Nov 1, 2013 01:02 PM

        These were the bags being opened: http://www.ferme-des-voltigeurs.ca/produits-ferme/poulet-biologique/poulet-biologique-entier

        I would add that their website (Fermes Saint-Vincent that is) does not even list chicken in the section "Les produits de la ferme": http://www.saint-vincentbio.com/produ...

        My guess is they raise all of the poultry except for the chicken.

        1. re: Siumaieater
          j
          JerkPork Nov 3, 2013 02:21 PM

          Siu, your observation was confirmed yesterday. I was at the JTM location yesterday and asked them if its their chicken and he quickly said its from Voltigeurs. The chicken is still very good but I'm 100% with you not cool to mislead and change packaging to make it seem like its coming from their farm. I've cut back my visits to St Vinc since Lawrence opened up and more so since they really increased their beef prices.

          1. re: JerkPork
            j
            j_do Nov 3, 2013 02:32 PM

            also find it strange how they don't put a price per weight on anything... 35$+tax for a pork tenderloin that barely feeds 2... insanity..

            1. re: j_do
              j
              JerkPork Nov 3, 2013 07:08 PM

              The funny thing about the pork tenderloin is that I've seen viandes de charlevoix pork tenderloin at Tau for IIRC low $30/kg compared to $65/kg at St Vincent (we're talking about the same damn product from the same farm). Porcmeilleur sells its tenderloin for $23/kg so $30 is fair for the Bio one but $65 c'mon.

      2. m
        mattlane Nov 5, 2013 05:07 PM

        Another 2 thumbs up for PorcMeilleur at JTM and Boucherie des Tours at Atwater.

        Not as fussed with organic, but the quality at both butchers is outstanding. They have great sources.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mattlane
          JedZ Feb 22, 2014 03:16 PM

          I also am so impressed with Boucherie des Tours. I needed lamb shanks today, and they sold me Quebec souris d'agneau - a better cut than the shank. Beautifully prepared..and sooooo tender...(and very reasonably priced).

           
          1. re: JedZ
            l
            lagatta Feb 22, 2014 05:20 PM

            Address: http://www.boucheriedetours.ca/boeuf-...

            1. re: JedZ
              JedZ Feb 23, 2014 01:08 PM

              Finished product:

               
          2. mindfultable Nov 10, 2013 04:48 PM

            Well that's disturbing. Although the one in Atwater market has been pretty upfront with me *not* that everything they sell is from their farm.

            As I understand it, some of their pork is their own, and some is duBreton; but I'll be sure to ask next time I'm there.

            I don't think I've ever bought their chicken. It's always a bit more pricey than the organic chicken sold at Boucherie de Tours, so I buy there. I'm reting to remember, but I'm pretty sure that when I noticed the price difference I also noticed that both were selling Voltigeurs chicken, or one was Volitgeurs and one Charlevoix... Maybe the sketchy repackaging practice is a new thing?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mindfultable
              j
              JerkPork Nov 10, 2013 08:57 PM

              No, they don't raise any pork it's from viande de charlevoix which is processed by Breton.

            2. b
              Bobolouli Nov 19, 2013 09:18 AM

              Grrrr, this is soooo frustrating!! Does anyone know if their meats are grain or grass fed? Are there ANY decent places to get grass fed meat from?? I was just about to pop over to Atwater and get some meat..

              4 Replies
              1. re: Bobolouli
                j
                j_do Nov 19, 2013 01:07 PM

                i would call boucherie lawrence... seems a lot of their meat is from http://viandesrheintal.com/

                1. re: j_do
                  b
                  Bobolouli Nov 20, 2013 11:05 AM

                  Thank you!

                2. re: Bobolouli
                  mindfultable Nov 19, 2013 02:36 PM

                  Follow this thread on where to buy grass-feed meats: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/922060

                  1. re: mindfultable
                    b
                    Bobolouli Nov 20, 2013 11:05 AM

                    I went to St Vincent today at Atwater (needed to get some meat so I had little choice) they claim their beef/pork/veal is grass fed... But then I also claim I'm a really good dancer.. Thank you for this thread (both the one you've included and the one we're responding to)

                3. b
                  Bobolouli Nov 20, 2013 11:08 AM

                  Just letting you know, I went into St VIncent today, I needed meat and its the closest location.. Lo and behold they did the chicken swap, right in front of me! So I asked them why they do this. The response I got was because the farm no longer has chickens & they have a demand for them so they sell them. I pressed and asked what the reason for packaging being changed was, and the man I spoke with noted that the Voltigeur chickens do not have best before dates on them, this is why they have to take them out of the packaging and re-package, because it is mandatory..
                  He also told me the beef/pork & veal are grass fed.
                  Thought I'd let you know.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Bobolouli
                    j
                    JerkPork Nov 20, 2013 12:14 PM

                    http://www.viandesbiocharlevoix.com supplies their pork. As I've mentioned in other threads, I don't think anyone can claim to be 100% pasture/grass fed. The feed of the livestock will always be supplemented with other feed, especially during the winter.

                    St Vincent's beef is not 100% grass either.

                    From Viandes Charlevoix (Pork Feed);

                    Tous nos élevages sont nourris avec la moulée biologique produite sur la ferme, de A à Z. Elle est principalement composée de blé, d'avoine, d'avoine nue, d'orge et de pois, tout ça cultivé biologiquement dans Charlevoix sur plus de 2500 acres de terre. Nous ajoutons également des minéraux et du soya biologique pour augmenter le taux de protéine. Nous utilisons très peu de maïs, car il produit des gras fondants indésirables dans la charcuterie ainsi que dans la cuisson de la viande. Enfin, aucun antibiotique, ni hormone ou facteur de croissance non biologique n’est ajouté dans les moulées de nos animaux.

                    La production des céréales contenues dans les moulées répondent aux normes de l’agriculture biologique : aucun engrais chimique, pesticide, herbicide, fongicide et les grains ne subissent aucune manipulation génétique (sans OGM).

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