A seafood processor from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine in serious financial difficulty

With an estimated debt of between $3.5 million and $4 million to its lobster fishermen, the Madelinan seafood processing company LA Renaissance des Îles (LRDI) has decided to place itself under the protection of the Act respecting the 'insolvency.

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This is what the president and CEO and sole shareholder, Lynn Albert, announced to the fishermen who supply her with lobster, during an information meeting held on Friday morning, learned the QMI Agency.

LRDI is in default of payment for its dockside purchases from 66 fishermen for the last two weeks of the 2022 fishing season, totaling $3.7 million. Added to this are, among other things, deductions for government rebates and other operating expenses of fishing businesses.

Following a formal notice filed on July 14 by the Office of Lobster Fishermen of the Islands, which administers the joint marketing plan for the crustacean caught in the archipelago, LRDI made an initial payment of $1.2 million. . The company had obtained a reprieve until August 21 to pay the balance.

Informed by its members of the insolvency petition filed by LRDI, the acting president of the Office, Rolland Turbide, did not want to comment on Friday, saying that his organization will first wait to consult his lawyers on Monday. .

The fishermen concerned do not hide their concern. “Where is the future? I don't know, one of them told us, wishing to remain anonymous. There is nothing fixed. We are in the void.”

For its part, the office of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec, André Lamontagne, attributes the financial difficulties of LRDI to an “exceptional situation”. We were told that the company that owns two processing plants in the Magdalen Islands recorded an operating deficit with crab, having bought it at a higher price than the market price earlier this year. . Additionally, it would have faced record volumes of lobster delivered to dock, which it was unable to pay due to its deficient cash flow.

The CEO, Ms. Albert, who provides work for nearly 200 people, did not wish to make a public statement when we questioned her.

However, she took advantage of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's visit to the Islands on Friday to raise awareness of the problem of the collapse of crab markets, in particular due to the overabundance of Russian supply.