October 5, 2022

The Queens County Citizen

Complete Canadian News World

A Quebec manufacturer of school furniture doesn’t overlook its own backyard

A Quebec manufacturer of school furniture doesn't overlook its own backyard

The Quebec maker of the famous orange chairs that are everywhere in our schools has trouble digesting that some school centers in his part of the country have shunned him and opted for furniture instead.”Made in America“.

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“I have 140 employees who pay taxes. I’m making $4 million a year at my five factories in the Farnham area,” sighs Alfa-Vico CEO Gilles Berthiame.

“They bought American tables from KI Company at Mgr-Douville School in Farnham. They paid more than $2,500 each (10 feet) but I made them for $1,500 (12 feet)”, he said.

What stands out is that the tables are not only expensive, but also small, so fewer students sit on them.

  • Listen to an interview with Gilles Berthiam every morning at 9:23 a.m. on The Richard Martineau Show Live QUB-Radio :

However, in Brome-Mississippi County, the manufacturer Alfa-Vico appears. He participates in activities related to Mandal. He and his sister, Claudine, sometimes serve lunch to neighborhood students.

“American companies don’t sponsor our sports teams. They don’t eat spaghetti with us,” says the person who directs sales on her side.

“I don’t understand why American standards are necessary when we are talking about Blue Basket and buying local. It’s not consistent,” Annie Messier says with her in sales, hanging between customer visits.

As people move their chairs, desks and tables elsewhere, Alfa-Vico is having trouble grasping the appeal of “”.Made in America» Buy in the middle of a local campaign.

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Forced layoffs

Today, some descriptions are even written in English with American standards to remove them, Gilles Berthiaume suggests.

“Not all schools do it. We have good customers across the country. There are professionals,” he said, but he wants to qualify.

However, some decisions leave him with a bitter taste, which also affects the factory floor. And what had to happen happened.

“I thanked twenty employees last week because the orders fell,” shares an emotional Gilles Berthiam of Alfa-Vico.

What annoys the businessman to the highest degree is that the chairs chosen are made outside of Quebec and are very expensive.

“They sometimes pay $135 for a chair when they can get it for $35, so 1,000 chairs is $100,000 more,” complained the entrepreneur.

Centers in Defense

Questioned by News magazineSchool centers are quick to defend themselves.

“We will not grant an interview on this matter, because we spoke to them yesterday. [13 septembre]Audrey Leboeuf replied to communications from the Center de Services Scolaire du Val-des-Cerfs, regarding the reasons why this company’s application was not accepted during the public call for tenders.

at LogThe center said it followed a call for tenders for the purchase of 16 tables by the Comite d’achats grouped de la Montérégie et de l’Estrie.

A hundred kilometers away, at the Marguerite-Borgios school service center, her copy was duly processed, said her spokeswoman Melanie Simard.

“As a public body, we ensure that rules governing procurement are applied and enforced. [biens et services] And work from the definition of need,” she says.

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“You will understand that we cannot provide details of the submissions submitted by companies interested in the requirements we have,” she said briefly.

Foundation: 1980

Employees: 140

Factories: 5

Consumers (Country): Canada, United States

Products: Chairs, desks, folding tables, tables

Source: Alfa Vico