To avoid shortage, Quebec uses its maple syrup

Things are shaking in the blonde gold market, and we had to call for a strategic presence: maple syrup, mainly produced in Quebec, fell victim to its success and poor harvest last spring.

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And experts warn that this situation could worsen in the future due to global warming.

This year, Quebec, which produces 3/4 of the world’s maple syrup to avoid shortages, has done what the United States and other countries have done for oil: take stockpiles to avoid stock shortages.

Representing more than 11,000 professionals, Serge Beaulieu, President of Producers and Producers of Azircoles du Quebec (PPAQ), explains: “This is normal, and this is what we want: a balance between temperature, demand and production.

The reserve is located in Larrierville, about ten kilometers from Quebec City. In a warehouse the size of five football fields, tens of thousands of white barrels are stacked.

By the spring of 2021, 105 million pounds, or nearly 48,000 tons of syrup, had been stored there, accumulating for almost a decade. The reserves then melted down: what they call “Quebec’s golden gold” is currently only about 17,000 tons. Last had to be used in 2009.

Syrup – the juice collected through small tubes on the maple tree, then boiled – is harvested in the spring. But for this to be possible, the temperature must be below zero at night and slightly positive during the day.

“The maple is actually in the spring, but the spring here is reduced because it warms up faster than usual, so instead of a good monthly harvest, we could have done two weeks and shorter days,” lamented Larry Lauroch, 23, maple maker. Syrup.

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This year “we had 50% less syrup”, Maryse Nault adds, examining her tips, hat and legs in the snow on her farm in Saint-Marc-sur-Richelieu, 50 kilometers east of Montreal.

Last spring, production fell to 133 million pounds (about 60,000 tons), well below the 175 million drawn in 2020.

In this context, manufacturers will be authorized to build 7 million new pipes to increase production over the next three years.

According to researchers from the Quebec Ministry of Forests, peak yields are under threat: predicting a 15% decline in yields by 2050. The hottest months in April are due to cuts.

Still, demand is growing not only in Canada but also in Asia, Europe and the United States. In 2020 and 2021, exports increased by 20%.

“With COVID, consumers were increasingly at home, trying to find new foods,” he said. Pulio or “does not come in total restaurants” explains rather “at home”.

And it’s more and more “used”, Larry Lauroch agrees, “to replace white sugar” because maple syrup is better for your health than refined sugar.

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