Farm News Review
By Scott Stevenson
Local Journalism Initiative
Within two years, Quebec will be producing some 23 million pounds more maple syrup than we are now. That translates into about 2 million gallons more than current production, or 17 million more 540-ml cans that you find on store shelves.
It means a lot of maple producers are now hurriedly installing new pipeline in their sugar bushes, with the new year’s sap run only two months away.
Under Quebec’s maple syrup supply management system, the maple federation—or Producteurs et Productrices Agricoles du Québec (PPAQ)—planned an increased supply for the province last year, handing out extra quota to qualified producers by an application and lottery system. The good news came to 3,300 producers—including this columnist (1,000 taps)—last Dec. 15.
The federation anticipated the increased demand, and therefore new quota to add supply, due to a “strong increase in sales and exports of maple syrup, and following mediocre production from the 2021 season,” its Dec. 1 press release reported.
Several years ago, it began a new international marketing campaign, and the industry also enjoyed greater interest in maple syrup during the pandemic.
Since production varies from year to year, the one constant measure the federation can use for offering new quota is the number of taps a producer installs in his or her sugar bush.
(Notice, by the way, the new gender-balanced name of the maple federation, “Producteurs et Productrices…,” reflecting positive attitude changes within agricultural leadership but unfortunately not yet reflected in the make-up of the PPAQ and other farm association boards of directors.)
The federation offered new quota on 7 million taps, all of which were handed out Dec. 15. On average, members of the federation have been producing 3.29 pounds of syrup per tap in recent years. A gallon of syrup (eight cans, roughly) contains 11 pounds of syrup.
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