June 12, 2011

exit the monopole....

Through the misty farmland of Bois Franc I arrive again at Le Presbytere fromagerie, and each time it feels like returning home.

It has been almost a year since the last time I visited Jean Morin and now with the UPA finally in the process of dissolving its monopoly over Quebec farmers, I feel more at ease to write this.

He had put out a cheese not so long ago with the name la Brie du Monopole. This was a direct attack on the obligatory membership farmers had to pay the UPA (not really a union because no one joins, more like a tax or a mafia.). When he was ready to market his Brie du Monopole cheese he was immediately visited by 'some' member of the UPA who reminded him in low undertones that he should think of his children's future. Obviously a very covert threat which saw the early death of the Monopole name into Brie du Paysan (a direct reference to Union Paysanne a fervent opponent of the UPA). The UPA monopoly is now fianlly disolving, but Jean Morin told me that nonetheless not so long ago some UPA members were threatening him physically complaining that he has no respect for the hand that feeds. I could not help thinking of Stalin.....and as Morin gave me a roll of the original stickers "Brie du Monopole" stashed away in a cupboard I was convinced that this was certain to go down in Quebec history!

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