Maple Syrup Hits Record Highs in Sales, Exports - More Taps, Higher Quotas for Québec Producers

·5 min read

LONGUEUIL, QC, June 15, 2021 /CNW Telbec/ - Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) is pleased to announce it will issue quotas for a minimum of 3 million new taps to its members over the next two years. The decision comes after an average maple syrup harvest in 2021, combined with significant increases in sales and exports of product. With a need for supply to keep up with demand, the conclusion is evident: Québec's maple industry is booming!

MAPLE SYRUP HITS RECORD HIGHS IN SALES, EXPORTS: More Taps, Higher Quotas for Québec Producers (CNW Group/Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec)
MAPLE SYRUP HITS RECORD HIGHS IN SALES, EXPORTS: More Taps, Higher Quotas for Québec Producers (CNW Group/Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec)

"Already providing 72% of the world's maple syrup, Québec is the international industry leader… and we intend to keep it that way!" declared QMSP Board Chairman Serge Beaulieu. "That's why, today, we're announcing the addition of more taps, which we hope to see in production for 2022 and 2023."

QMSP manages the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve and is now drawing on its stockpile to compensate for 2021's average yield. This necessarily reduces inventory: from 107 million pounds on March 1 to 80 million (approximate) at present. The volume of certified organic syrup has dropped to near zero. With syrup sales on the rise in 2020 and 2021 and the average harvest experienced in Canada and USA, processors and bottlers are boosting their output and making larger orders from the Reserve, which is there to serve this exact purpose. At the same time, recent actuarial calculations have determined that, if the Reserve supply falls below 80 million pounds, the time is ripe to consider new production quotas for the exploitation of new territories and more taps. This will ensure sufficient supply and avoid future shortages. It is QMSP's responsibility to act when Reserve inventory drops to a benchmark low.

All-Time Sales/Export Records
Sales and exports reached previously unseen heights in 2020, as Québec producers (through their sales agency) sold 147 million pounds of maple syrup to processors. Of that number, 135 million pounds went to foreign markets, spurred by QMSP-led promotional campaigns and the processing sector's export strategies. This represents not only a $1 Billion contribution to Canada's gross domestic product but a major economic driver in the regions of Québec.

Since 2003, QMSP has given the green light to a total of 17 million new taps for its members through four start-up and expansion programs—in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2016. This year, the QMSP Board of Directors is sending out the call for a minimum of 3 million more taps, which will bring a new total of 50 million taps under production in Québec.

Quota Terms and Application Forms in Development
Now that the need for more taps has been determined, the procedures for issuing quotas are under consideration. Last August, following months of consultation with producers, QMSP submitted a request to the Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec (RMAAQ) to modify the methods by which quotas are granted. More modern and simplified, the new regulations would be better suited to the current industry context and QMSP would like the additional quotas issued within their purview. This would include a revised distribution of taps amongst expansion and start-up initiatives. Each applicant would have the choice between allocation by lottery draw or pro rata attribution. Those who choose the attribution method would therefore be assured of a quota sufficient to begin or expand production.
The new regulations modernizing the process are not yet in force. Public hearings have been going on for six months, with QMSP and RMAAQ working diligently together in efforts to achieve final approval of the draft proposal. This could be accomplished in summer and QMSP remains hopeful these regulations will govern issuance of the new taps. Current and prospective producers are advised to prepare as the process unfolds.

Operational Plans, GPS Mapping, and Inventory Potentials
An administrative process will be set in motion once tap issuance guidelines are set under the new regulations. Its probable timetable is as follows:

  • June-July-August 2021: Production of forest inventories and GPS mapping of areas targeted for development

  • September 2021: Publication of application forms for producers

  • October 15, 2021: Deadline for submission of quota applications to QMSP

  • December 15, 2021: Allocation of quota offers to producers by QMSP

  • December 2021 - February 2023: Installation of new taps

Producers seeking new quotas (for a start-up or expansion) should begin preparation of their applications now, specifically by conducting forest inventories and GPS mapping of the areas they wish to develop (in accordance with QMSP forest inventory standards). These standards may be found online.

More than 3 Million Taps? Perhaps.
QMSP is not ruling out the possibility of making even more taps available if sales projections warrant. The word from President Serge Beaulieu: "If market indicators predict a continuation of the strong sales we are now experiencing, QMSP could opt for the issuance of a few million more taps in mid-July." In the short term, the 2021 harvest and the Reserve stockpile are deemed sufficient to satisfy demand. QMSP is monitoring the situation on a day-to-day basis to ensure the needs of the booming maple syrup market are met.

About Québec Maple Syrup Producers and the Érable du Québec brand
Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) represents the interests of 11,300 men and women who proudly produce maple syrup, a true emblem of Québec culture. By investing in research, innovation, promotion, and market development, QMSP enacts its mission of developing the production and sales of Québec maple products to their full potential at home and abroad. Québec accounts for an average 72% of the world's maple syrup supply, allowing the people of some 60 nations to enjoy the unique taste of this eco-friendly, renewable product.

PPAQ.ca – @AcericoleQc

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