Increased demand for maple syrup has prompted the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers Association (QMSP) to use their strategic reserve for the first time in three years.
The QMSP, which helps regulate and oversee maple syrup production in the region, has had to respond to concerns that supplies are running out.
They released almost half of the emergency reserve – almost 22 million kilograms of the drink.
But despite the move, QMSP’s Helen Normandin has tried to allay fears of a possible customer shortage.
Speaking to US Radio, she said, « That’s why the reserve was created, so we don’t miss maple syrup. And we won’t miss maple syrup! »
Quebec produces nearly three-quarters of the world’s maple syrup.
The combination of higher global sales — a jump of more than 36% between 2020 and 2021, according to QMSP — and reduced production after a warmer and shorter harvest, created the problem.
Maple trees can only be exploited when temperatures drop below 0°C at night but remain above freezing during the day.
Commenting on the move to utilize the reserves, Ms Normandin added: “This system prevents virtually all stock shortages and ensures that the market is adequately supplied.
« What we can see at the moment is that maybe the season here in Quebec will start a little earlier in February, instead of March, and finish earlier as well. »
QMSP’s Quality Management Program predicted that another seven million trees would be needed to avoid shortages next year.
This isn’t the first time the Canadian commodity has made headlines.
In 2012, $18m (£13.6m) of maple syrup was stolen from the reserve – dubbed the ‘Great Canadian Maple Syrup Theft’.
Two-thirds of the stolen drink was later recovered.
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