Nova Scotia Journal

Faced with a shortage, Canada turns to its strategic reserves of maple syrup

maple syrup

Key Takeaways:

  • In the face of shortages, Canada is drawing on its strategic reserves.
  • This time, it’s all about maple syrup.

The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers Association confirmed to Business that it releases approximately 50 million pounds from its strategic maple syrup reserves. That equates to nearly half of the stockpile.

The government-supported organization, called the “OPEC of maple syrup,” uses its reserves to control syrup prices and supply. As of 2020, Quebec produced 73 percent of all maple syrup globally, and the United States is by far its largest customer, accounting for roughly 60 percent of Canada’s export volume.

The strategic reserve was established to keep maple syrup in stock during poor harvest seasons or high demand. Unfortunately, that is the case right now, following a hot and short spring that resulted in a lower yield. Historically, 2021 was an average year for maple production in Quebec, with a harvest estimated at 133 million pounds, but sales increased 21 percent compared to last year, straining the available supply.

“This system virtually eliminates stock shortages and ensures the market is adequately supplied,” said spokesperson Helene Normandin.

In 2020, Quebec produced 175 million pounds of maple syrup. The province has 50 million taps, with plans to add seven million more in the coming years to meet demand.

“The pandemic has helped us because people are cooking more at home and using more local products,” Normandin said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Demand is increasing throughout Canada, not just in Quebec.”

The reserve has previously made headlines. Between 2011 and 2012, 3,000 tonnes of maple syrup worth nearly 20 million Canadian dollars were secretly stolen from the account in what became known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist.

Source: CNN News

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