The seeds of our entrepreneurial diversity were first sown by company founder James Dergavel Irving (J.D. Irving) - the grandson of enterprising immigrants from Dumfries, Scotland.
The original company holdings included: a sawmill, gristmill, carding mill, a general store, lumber business and a farm. J.D. was an innovator and a dedicated investor in new methods, equipment to improve productivity and service - a tradition that we carry on today.
Kenneth Colin (K.C.) Irving, born in 1899, inherited his father's entrepreneurial spirit and keen interest in business. K.C. was a driven and dynamic builder of enterprises who "liked to see the wheels turn". Under his leadership, the business realized significant growth and diversification in the transportation, shipbuilding, construction and retail sectors.
In 1957, James K. (J.K.) Irving (K.C.'s eldest son) pioneered the company's reforestation and tree improvement programs and expanded our forest products' business. Since then, the company has planted over 960 million trees – a national record in Canada. Trees, being nature's air filters, absorb carbon dioxide to combat global warming. Today, continual reforestation is sustaining jobs and a diverse value chain of forest products that J.K. and his sons have grown over the years.
Like the generations before them, J.K. and his sons, Robert and Jim, are builders. They believe that good products, superior service, continuous improvement and the front-line efforts of skilled employees are the most important ingredients to success.
With the help of an innovative team, the diverse companies of J.D. Irving, Limited continue to grow and evolve, providing quality products and services that span industries and customers worldwide.
While much has changed over the past 135 years, our company's basic formula has not. We believe in investing and building our business with the skills of great employees, producing excellent products, giving superior service to valued customers - and then reinvesting again.
In the communities where we live and work, the people of J.D. Irving, Limited are internationally recognized for environmental performance, innovation in technology, education and community service.