The Globe And Mail

Quebec losing hold over maple syrup industry to U.S. competition
The Globe And Mail (Sep. 20 2011)

The giant of the global maple syrup industry is losing some of its swagger. The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which represents most of the province’s maple syrup harvesters, is increasingly feeling the pressure from growing competition south of the border, particularly in Vermont, New York and Maine.

Quebec has long dominated the maple syrup scene, holding some 80 per cent or more of world production in years past, partly by maintaining a strictly enforced supply-management, marketing and quality-control system. But aggressive U.S. rivals have made inroads, reducing the province’s market share to an average of 72 per cent over the past three years, said Paul Rouillard, deputy director of the 7,300-member federation.

In dramatic contrast, the average market share for the U.S. in recent years has shot up to 23 per cent from 16 per cent, according to a study conducted for the Quebec federation by consultants Forest Lavoie.

The federation stockpiles an enormous “strategic reserve” of maple syrup to stabilize the price, and has come under fire for imposing quotas on its members. It has seen some Quebec producers shift their operations to the U.S., Mr. Rouillard said.

“There are tremendous opportunities for growth in the U.S. – particularly Vermont, New York, Maine – and some businesses are being started by Canadians,” said Tim Perkins, director of the Proctor Maple Research Center at the University of Vermont.

“They can’t grow in Canada because of the [Quebec] quota system, so they come across the border and make syrup here.”

Le Québec était un champion mondial de la production de sirop d’érable, mais il a fallu que le gouvernement vienne tout gâcher en imposant un système de gestion de l’offre…

Et parions que le gouvernement va tenter de solutionner le problème qu’il a lui-même créé avec des subventions…