Faced with shortages, Canada taps strategic reserves of maple syrup

Quebec Maple Syrup Producrs, a leading trading group, says it is releasing around £50 million from its strategic maple syrup stockpile, almost half of its stockpile, Bloomberg first reported.
Canadian maple syrup for sale at a gift shop in downtown Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, on Monday, November 25, 2013. Photographer: Ben Nelms/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The government-backed organization, commonly known as the OPEC of maple syrup, uses its reserves to control the price and supply of the syrup. As of 2020, Quebec produces 73% of the world’s total maple syrup, and its largest customer by far is the United States, which accounts for about 60% of Canada’s exports.

The strategic reserve was created to keep maple syrup in stock during bad harvests or when demand spikes. That is the case right after a hot and short spring leads to lower yields. Historically, the year 2021 is an average year for maple production in Quebec, with an estimated harvest of £133m, but sales were up 21% year-on-year, straining existing supplies.

QMSP did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN Business. “The pandemic has helped our case because we’re seeing people cooking more at home and using more local produce,” group spokeswoman Helene Normandin said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Not just in Quebec, demand is growing.”

The sanctuary has made headlines in the past. Between 2011 and 2012, 3,000 tons of maple syrup, worth nearly 20 million Canadian dollars, were secretly withdrawn from the reserve in a notorious heist known as The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist.


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