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P.E.I. restaurants to help plant trees with each purchase of local cheese

Mathieu Gallant from Fromagerie P.E.I., his two-year-old son, Pascal, and his wife, Josée Boudreau, launch the “Plant Trees with Cheese” initiative which will plant a tree for each case of cheese sold to a restaurant.
Mathieu Gallant from Fromagerie P.E.I., his two-year-old son, Pascal, and his wife, Josée Boudreau, launch the “Plant Trees with Cheese” initiative which will plant a tree for each case of cheese sold to a restaurant. - Contributed
MONT-CARMEL, P.E.I. —

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and out-of-province importing of products during the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Mont-Carmel cheesemaker Fromagerie P.E.I. is launching a new program to help Island restaurants reduce their carbon footprint.

Starting this summer, the makers of Squeak-ies P.E.I. cheese curds will be planting one tree for each case of cheese sold to the food service industry.

“The reasoning behind this is that there is such a big push to support local businesses and we wanted to be part of it,” said the company’s owner Mathiew Gallant in a news release.

“We have a handful of restaurants that have been with us from the moment we started producing our cheese curds four years ago, but it’s been a challenge to grow as our product was always a little more expensive than some of the imported products.”

Fromagerie P.E.I. has secured one hectare of land from a neighbouring farmer.

They have just started planting the parcel in question, located next to the Mont-Carmel parish hall.

They developed a type of adopt-a-tree program called “Plant Trees with Cheese” for local food establishments.

They hope to outgrow the designated tree-planting area and afterwards find other parcels of land that could be improved with the planting of new trees.

Gallant believes this program will be beneficial as it will provide shelter for wildlife and combat soil erosion at the same time. His goal is to keep making cheese and planting trees.

“We put this together because we wanted to highlight the fact that what the restaurants are getting today is trucked in from major processors located over 1,400 kilometres away. That’s happening while we are here, willing and able to provide them with what they need.”

Keeping it local is what makes an economy thrive, he said.

“At the end of the day, we’ve created something that the owners and the customers can be proud of. They will physically be able to see the contributions that they have made for decades to come.”

Fromagerie P.E.I. is offering to plant a tree for every case (four kilograms or more) on behalf of the supporting restaurant. The food establishment will also receive a chart to showcase its contribution to the clientele.

“We are now in 2020 and with everything that has been going on, the world is a different place,” said Gallant.

“We figured that we would try to do a little good during these strange times.”

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