Kingsey Falls, Quebec, Canada 26 March 2014 -- /CNW Telbec/ -- Brothers Bernard, Laurent and Alain Lemaire , co-founders of Cascades, and Mario Plourde , current President and Chief Executive Officer, celebrated Cascades' 50th anniversary this morning at a ceremony held at "the old mill," the Company's very first plant. In the company of employees, retired workers and partners, they commemorated 50 years of history.
"Fifty years ago today, in 1964, we breathed new life into the abandoned paper mill in Kingsey Falls . At the time, we had only a handful of employees and were making a few hundred thousand dollars in sales. Since then, we have multiplied our number of employees by 500, and our sales by more than 10,000, and we are now 12,000 strong and making close to $4 billion in sales. This growth has been made possible by all of our partners but, especially, by the contribution of Cascaders," pointed out Bernard Lemaire .
"We experienced strong growth, particularly in the 1990s, with acquisitions, investments, ventures in new business sectors, etc. At such an exciting time, we could easily have lost our focus and sense of identity, but our rapid expansion was accompanied by respect for our employees, our communities, the environment and our values," said Laurent Lemaire .
The moving ceremony marked the launch of numerous festivities, which employees, as well as the community, are invited to attend throughout the year. At the same time, the Lemaire brothers and Mario Plourde addressed employees in all one hundred or so Cascades units across North America and in Europe via video, thanking them for their outstanding contribution to Cascades' success. In addition, each employee got to enjoy a small birthday cake in celebration of the 50th anniversary.
"Without such motivated and determined employees, we would have had a tough time surviving the economic crisis that rocked the industry in the 2000s. Today, we have every reason to be proud and to celebrate. Not only is our Company in good health, but it also sets the example when it comes to environmental and social issues," explained Alain Lemaire .
Following the ceremony, the celebration continued as the Lemaire brothers and Mario Plourde toured the Kingsey Falls units. Each unit presented its own warm tribute to the visitors.
"Cascades' 50th anniversary is the occasion to celebrate our history and that of the Lemaire brothers. To fully understand where we are going, we must first know where we have been. Bernard, Laurent and Alain Lemaire are giants on the Québec business scene and in sustainable development, and we are their heirs. It falls upon us to continue building on this legacy and to carry Cascades into the future," added Mario Plourde .
A number of events celebrating the Company's 50th anniversary will take place in the coming months. For the schedule of events taking place in 2014, visit the Events section on our website, at www.cascades.com/50 .
Founded in 1964, Cascades produces, converts and markets packaging and tissue products that are composed mainly of recycled fibres. The Company employs more than 12,000 employees, who work in over 100 production units in North America and Europe . With its management philosophy, half a century of experience in recycling, and continuous efforts in research and development as driving forces, Cascades continues to deliver the innovative products that customers have come to rely on. Cascades' shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol CAS .