(Oct. 17) After five years of running Hydroserre-Mirabel as president and owner, and more than 14 years total with his family-founded company, Martin Desrochers has left and sold his shares to business partner Sylvain Terrault.

Desrochers and Terrault became majority owners of the Montreal-based company in 2003, and with Desrochers’ sale of his shares to Terrault, Terrault is now the sole owner, president and general manager.

Desrochers also resigned from his seat on the board of directors for the Ottawa-based Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corp. He was a founding member of the DRC in 1999, and has remained on its board since.

“Once he was no longer a shareholder (with Hydroserre-Mirabel), he put in his resignation here because he was no longer eligible to be a director on the board here,” said Stephen Whitney, DRC president.

Whitney said Desrochers’ three-year current term would have expired in 2010, and that the board chairman of the nominations committee is looking for another grower-shipper member from Canada, ideally from Quebec, to finish Desrochers’ term.

“Martin made many contributions to our organization,” Whitney said. “He was someone who was very involved, always had sound advice and very much a team player. He helped develop the idea (for the DRC) and, more importantly, helped sell it. He believed it was very much something that was important.”

Desrochers remains on the Canadian Produce Marketing Association’s board of directors, and his term will be up in May 2009 if he chooses to leave the industry.

“It seems likely he will continue a career within the produce industry, although he is taking some well-earned time to consider his future plans,” said Dan Dempster, CPMA president.

Desrochers was honored earlier this year as The Quebec Produce Marketing Association’s Pillar of the Industry 2008. He is a past member of QPMA, serving since 1997.

He was also The Packer’s 2006 Canadian Produce Man of the Year.

“I think Martin plans to stay involved in the industry, he’s just taking time to see what his next step will be,” Whitney said. “I certainly hope he does.”

Hydroserre-Mirabel president, co-owner resigns