Author: Andréanne Bourque


Under a mild sky, Magali Boutroy, Sustainable Development Officer for the Coop, attended the press conference held on May 1st by Scotts Canada Ltd, Modix Plastique Inc., and Balcan Packaging, a division of Balcan Innovations Inc. They unveiled the results of an exceptional partnership in which an experiment allowed the integration of recycled resin into flexible plastic packaging. This collaboration, which began in 2022, focused on the ambitious project of developing a circular economy for the peat packaging used by Scotts Canada. The goal? To integrate 25% post-consumer recycled resin into the packaging, thereby creating a closed loop using plastics recovered from the company’s sites.

Modix Plastique Inc, positions itself as a key player in the development of recycling and value-enhancement initiatives for post-consumer flexible plastic packaging across several sectors. The current project is a fine example of success in a sector where recovered plastics, due to their contamination with organic material, were orphaned and thus destined for export or landfill.

Emballages Balcan, for its part, has developed expertise in reducing the environmental impacts of its packaging. The implementation of Balcan Innovations’ solutions through this project will serve as an inspiring example for other culture substrate producers and companies in other product categories

Scotts Canada, a major supplier of consumer products for amateur gardening as well as for the professional horticulture sector in Canada, has integrated these innovative practices into its production by applying these advances to its peat packaging. Scotts Canada’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond improving its own products; the company also manufactures soil mixes, composts, and fertilizers for our Passion Jardins brand, owned by the Groupex Horticultural Cooperative.

Phase 2 : Passion Jardins Private Label Products

In Phase 2 of this ambitious project led by Scotts Canada, the Groupex Horticultural Cooperative is initiating a significant change concerning the packaging of our private label, Passion Jardins, to integrate up to 30% post-consumer recycled resins. This ongoing project marks a further step towards increasingly sustainable practices, aligned with our commitment to environmental protection and the promotion of the circular economy.

This day provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges encountered and the solutions adopted, highlighting the importance of cross-sector collaboration. Experts shared their views on the technological and logistical necessities to achieve these ambitious goals, as well as the importance of ongoing communication between all partners involved. This partnership is an exemplary model for other industries, demonstrating that innovation and cooperation can truly transform business practices towards greater sustainability. For Groupex, it is a pride to be part of this advancement, and we are eager to see the positive impact of these bags on our environment and on our customers’ satisfaction. Our commitment to this initiative is a testament to our dedication to promoting practices that respect and preserve our planet for future generations

Groupex Coop’s Commitment to Baby Plant Month: A Model of Solidarity and Community Impac

At Groupex Coop, we understand that our impact extends far beyond the confines of our horticultural activities. As a committed cooperative, our mission goes beyond everyday business to significantly and positively touch lives. It is with this spirit that we have engaged for the second consecutive year in the “Baby Plant Month” initiative, led by Mélanie Grégoire, a renowned horticulturist and member of our cooperative.

A community commitment rooted in personal history

This initiative is dedicated to fundraising to support research and the improvement of neonatal care, perfectly illustrating how businesses can channel personal experiences into driving forces for the common good. Since its launch in 2020, the initiative has raised over $550,000 for various health institutions. Every year, it is in the month of March that consumers can purchase baby plants. Many Coop members from the gardening sector offer these plants to their customers, thereby also demonstrating their support for the project.

Baby Plant Month” was born from Mélanie’s personal story, touched by the challenges of neonatology following the premature birth of her son.

A partnership model for sustainable impact

At Groupex, our participation in “Baby Plant Month” is part of a broader framework of our community engagement. Beyond financial contributions, our cooperative invests in volunteer activities and in forming strategic partnerships with local associations. These initiatives are an integral part of our annual mission to strengthen and support projects that benefit the community..

Solidarity in action

Groupex’s commitment shows that even small businesses can play a crucial role in creating significant impact. Every plant sold during this campaign represents much more than a transaction; it symbolizes a community commitment and a belief in a cause greater than our individual interests. It also demonstrates our willingness to support not only economic growth but also the social well-being of our community.

At Groupex, we firmly believe in the power of cooperation and mutual support. Join us in this venture, and together let’s redefine what it means to be a responsible and committed business to our community.

Aménagement Grenon : Knowing how to surround yourself weell

 In addition to guaranteeing us good prices, Groupex is a very interesting family: the members really support each other

Stéphane Grenon, owner of Aménagement Grenon

The only child, Stéphane Grenon, represents the third generation to helm the family horticultural business, established in Laterrière (Chicoutimi) since 1948. Following his grandfather François-Xavier and his father Marc, it’s now his turn to wear the many hats required to be an entrepreneur in the fields of landscaping, maintenance, and retail.

Supported by his partner Marie-Pier, who primarily ensures the smooth operation of the Aménagement Grenon garden center, Stéphane can also rely on a dedicated team of 45 people, more than half of whom are part of the landscaping department.

« My oldest employee has been here for at least 35 years,” he says with pride. “After that, I have many field staff who have been with us for 20 or 25 years. It pleases me that people stay for a long time. »

Despite having a core of long-standing employees, the labor shortage affecting all sectors in Quebec still compels the business owner to invest significant efforts in recruitment and improving working conditions within his company, particularly through acquiring increasingly advanced equipment. 2023 was the first year that foreign workers came to assist the Aménagement Grenon team.

To meet these challenges, mutual support among companies is also very important. “We’re not in competition… we even refer clients to each other!” he says, citing the support from Rébéca Rouleau, owner of Serres Dame Nature, a Groupex member business that regularly collaborates with his company.

Rapid transformation

From the age of 12, Stéphane spent his summers in the office running small errands for his father. Around the age of 15, he began to truly frequent the job sites to get acquainted with manual outdoor work. Then he pursued a college education in industrial electronics, all while continuing to be employed at Aménagement Grenon.

The least that can be said is that the company has changed significantly since Stéphane took over the leadership – and even more so since the very first greenhouse made by François-Xavier Grenon! One of the departments that Stéphane sought to expand quickly was retail sales, which now accounts for 40% of his revenue:

I’ve invested a lot in the garden center and since then, we’ve practically tripled… both in terms of revenue and size. At that time, it was important for us to be part of a group like Passion Jardins because we were still very small compared to the big chains. We wanted to standardize the image, make it more professional.”

Stéphane is proud of the revaluation approach that sets his company apart, and he wishes to continue promoting it: “Unlike companies that want to sell only new items, we encourage our clients to repurpose existing elements like shrubs, paving stones… It reduces costs for them and prevents waste.” 

Excellence and commitment honored at the annual congress of the Groupex Horticultural Cooperative

At the last annual congress of the Groupex horticultural cooperative, held on February 22 at the Entourage sur le Lac hotel, the horticultural community gathered to celebrate the excellence and commitment of its members. Hosted by comedian Jean-François Baril, the gala evening was an opportunity to highlight the members of the cooperative.

Deserved recognition for Manon Lavoie and Véronique Pepin

The Cooperator of the year award is a distinction given to Groupex members who have demonstrated exceptional involvement, contributing significantly to the growth and evolution of the cooperative and the horticultural sector. This year’s winners, Manon Lavoie and Véronique Pepin, stood out for their innovative initiative in training, showing remarkable commitment to cooperation and professional development. This award highlights the importance of individual commitment in serving collective goals, celebrating the synergy between entrepreneurship and cooperative values, essential for the success and sustainability of the cooperative.

Cooperator of the year, photo credit : Stéphane Bourgeois

Celebration of excellence and commitment

The evening was also an opportunity to present the Quercus trophies, recognizing member companies for their performance and commitment to the cooperative and its values. The winners, selected for their contribution to the growth and influence of Groupex, were praised for their strategic approach and active participation in the cooperative.

Among the highlights, the companies Serres Dame Nature and Multi Vrac Écono were honored for their exceptional belonging and dedication to the gardening sector, while Réflexe Paysage and Regard Vert were rewarded for their excellence in the landscaping sector. Serres Laliberté landscaper and garden center and Horti-Plus were also honored for their commitment and contribution to the sector.

Réflex Paysage ,Photo : Stéphane Bourgeois
Regard Vert, Photo : Stéphane Bourgeois
Serres Laliberté, Photo : Stéphane Bourgeois

Commitment to Sustainable Development

The company Repères was honored with the Quercus for Sustainable Development at the annual Groupex congress, highlighting its deep commitment to sustainable development. Repères stands out for its innovative projects, such as the creation of a community garden in collaboration with the Collaborative Gardens, using a gravity-fed irrigation system. Additionally, the company designed an outdoor festive space using recycled materials, demonstrating its commitment to the environment. These initiatives illustrate Repères’ holistic approach, integrating sustainability into its operations while making a positive contribution to its community and the environment.

Celebration of Youth and innovation

The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award was given to the horticultural center Foliflor, highlighting the dynamism and creativity of this young enterprise that brings innovative ideas and a breath of fresh air to the sector.

The success of this evening reflects the spirit of collaboration and innovation that drives the Groupex horticultural cooperative, and confirms its essential role in supporting and valuing professionals in the sector.

An enlightening annual congress for the Groupex Horticultural Cooperative.

On February 21 and 22, 2024, the idyllic setting of the Hotel Entourage on the Lake, in the heart of the beautiful Quebec region, hosted the congress and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Groupex horticultural cooperative. This eagerly anticipated annual gathering broke participation records with 84 companies out of the 120 in our cooperative attending. This event marked a decisive turning point in our history, symbolizing our commitment to innovation and shared success.

A year of ambitious projects

This year’s congress was a catalyst for significant change for Groupex, heralding the rollout of several major projects that redefine our direction and image. Under the leadership of our president, Pierre Dagenais, we unveiled a series of key initiatives: a new, vibrant brand image, the launch of a completely revamped website, and the introduction of an enhanced extranet, all designed to strengthen our online presence and improve member services. These changes signify a profound digital transformation within the cooperative..

Pierre Dagenais, our President, with a contagious smile, exclaims:

This investment project, I tell you, is the most exciting and motivating one I’ve had the pleasure to lead. We are experiencing a real revolution at Groupex!

Inspiring highlights

The event kicked off with the notable presence of our strategic partners. It was a unique opportunity for them to showcase their services, highlighting the importance of their role and the value they bring to our cooperative. The event was especially marked by a particularly inspiring speech by Jean Martin Fortier, the renowned market gardener famous for his entrepreneurial success. Jean Martin Fortier’s testimony not only inspired our members with his authentic and sustainable approach but also sowed many enriching parallels with our own world of horticulture. These ideas took root among us, reinforcing our commitment to practices that value well-being and personal development. Jean Martin’s passion for responsible agriculture and its positive impact on communities resonated with our values, reminding us of the importance of staying true to our principles. By placing people and the environment at the center of all our decisions, we cultivate not only our gardens but also our community, rooting our work in sustainability and harmony.

This congress was a celebration of our raison d’être. We are committed to providing a framework where each member can thrive and succeed. That is the very essence of Groupex.

Sébastien Cordeau, general Manager of Groupex

Jean Martin Fortier’s testimony not only inspired our members with his authentic and sustainable approach but also sowed many enriching parallels with our own world of horticulture.

The unveiling of our new brand image and the HECTAR member space marked a key moment of the congress, illustrating our commitment to innovation and ongoing support for our members..

With these new developments, we are ready to embrace the future. Offering these personalized beers is our way of celebrating this new chapter together.

Mélanie Turbis, our Marketing director,

Foster Garden Center and Knowlton Landscapes: Growing Through Grouping

For nine years, Jean-Samuel Maynard has been participating in the activities and events of the cooperative. One might even say he is doubly a member since both the garden center and the landscaping company he heads are part of the network.

« Groupex really occupies an important place in the industry, a weight that makes a difference when you face difficult situations. The co-op is there for you! »

Jean-Samuel Maynard, co-owner, Foster Garden Center and Knowlton Landscapes

« To date, I am not aware of any other association like Groupex that plays the role of a purchasing group. We are part of other useful groups for networking, such as APPQ, but they don’t have the monetary benefits of Groupex. »

Groupex: Supporting Its Members

Like all horticultural businesses, Maynard’s were heavily shaken during COVID, and the co-op greatly helped them with supply issues. It’s thanks to the cooperative that we have strengthened our efforts in sourcing. Clearly, being members of Groupex at that time saved us!

« I called the team for a problem, and in one day, it was solved! »

He also recounts that the co-op is always there to support its members. The entrepreneur also addresses another major challenge faced by many businesses: the shortage of staff, particularly on construction sites. “I participate in the co-op’s program to bring in labor from abroad, which is really helpful. But I think this is an issue that Groupex will increasingly have to contribute to because it’s the challenge of the coming years.

Groupex Benefits: Savings, Learning, and Sharing Among Members

Beyond saving time and money, Maynard believes that other aspects of the Groupex network are also very important, especially the opportunity to visit member businesses. “Whether it’s in terms of vehicle fleet, facilities, or work methods, we really enjoy discovering what others are doing, asking questions, and sharing tips.” Other opportunities like the annual congress and conferences are also valuable, according to him.

The proof that we believe in it is that we’ve already brought some of our friends into the co-op,” says Maynard. Any advice for businesses hesitant about becoming members? “I think it’s important that your business has reached a certain level, to better take advantage of the financial benefits. And that you’re ready to grow… because with Groupex, things really start moving quickly!

Cooperation Week 2023

The primary goal of this week is to raise public awareness about the value of cooperatives and to highlight how they contribute to the well-being of their members. In Canada, Cooperation Week takes place from October 15th to 21st, 2023. Groupex therefore wishes to proudly celebrate its status as a cooperative.

The strength of Cooperation in 2023

For us, what binds us enriches us, and each member is an important player. Just like you, our coop members are owners of small or large businesses. Each of them brings their knowledge, skills, and experience to the table;

Why are cooperatives so special? 

At the heart of a cooperative, you find a philosophy of sharing. Imagine a place where your voice echoes with the same strength as everyone else’s, where profits are shared fairly. Visualize a structure that, even in the face of headwinds, remains stable and rooted in its community. It’s this democracy, this constant concern for the well-being of its members, that makes cooperatives so special in your eyes.

Top 5 reasons to partner with Groupex Horticultural Cooperative

  1. Supply Benefits: The best pricing conditions, payment terms, and delivery times. Additionally, a pre-approved Groupex credit line facilitates transactions with our suppliers, without the administrative hassles.
  2. Access to a Wider Variety of Products and Services: More than 180 partnerships with top suppliers in the horticultural industry.
  3. Save Time: A single statement twice a month for all your transactions. The cooperative’s team is at your disposal.
  4. Volume Discounts and Profits: 100% of the volume discounts and profits of the cooperative are returned to you.
  5. Knowledge Sharing: We provide platforms and create events that allow our entrepreneurs to exchange information and ideas.
Gabriel Tougas Leclerc t’explique la croissance de son entreprise grâce à Groupex

Your journey to Groupex Horticultural Cooperative: How to join?

The path to your integration at Groupex is designed to be simple and transparent. Here’s how to navigate it: : 

  • The initial approach: It all starts with an exchange. Sébastien Cordeau, ready to guide you, is waiting. Whether you choose to contact him directly or fill out the form, he will be your first point of reference.
  • File and affinities: Once in contact, you will receive a membership form and a checklist of documents. These tools will help to assess the compatibility between your vision and that of the cooperative.
  • The careful eye of the council: With all the information provided, your file will pass under the eyes of our board of directors, who will validate your entry.
  • The warm welcome: Once approved, you will be fully integrated into Groupex. Trainings, meetings, and special moments will be offered to familiarize you with your new environment.

Basic Criteria:

ou have:

  • The same values as us.
  • A thriving and vibrant business in gardening/landscaping/decking.
  • Plenty of ideas and the boldness to want to share them.
  • $100,000 in annual purchasing capacity.
  • Solid financial statements.
  • A positive working capital. Good news, so do we

Joining Groupex Horticultural Cooperative offers a unique opportunity for your business. It means connecting with a community where every individual has their place, where mutual aid and solidarity are at the heart of exchanges. Are you ready to join us in this wonderful adventure?

Landscaping open doors : a memorable day at the heart of Eco-verdure’s universe

Every year, the Horticultural Cooperative Groupex organizes an essential meeting for the landscaping sector. This annual event is an opportunity for all our members to gain inspiration, network, and share experiences.

It was on September 9th that our members attended the 2023 edition of the Landscaping Open Doors Groupex. Over 100 members and 13 industry suppliers gathered at one of our members, based in Richelieu.


Eco-Verdure, renowned for its expertise in creating green spaces, is now a member of the family,  Services paysagers Dominique Filion a pillar of the sector. This strategic collaboration offered a fresh perspective on trends and quality in landscaping.


From 8:30 am, the excitement was palpable. For some, it was a discovery; for others, it was a rewarding reunion with peers. Eco-Verdure, as the host, proudly unveiled its landscaping masterpieces that combine aesthetics and functionality.


The highlight of the day? The guided tours by the Eco-Verdure team of four of their favorite projects from recent years. A unique opportunity for participants to interact directly with the Eco-Verdure team, understand their choices and techniques. The feedback was unanimous: admiration and inspiration.


Never before had an edition attracted so many. More than 100 members and 13 expert suppliers testified to the growing popularity of this annual initiative.

Wow, what a day! The teamwork between Eco-Verdure and Groupex was phenomenal. Thank you all for your energy and passion!

Maxime Proulx, Co-owner of Eco-Verdure
Hugo Landry, Dominique Filion & Maxime Proulx,
équipe Eco-Verdure 2023