Sap & Syrup


Tips from an expert: Selling on Amazon

Paul Post, Peter Gregg | October 9, 2018

PUTNEY, Vt.—Peter Cooper-Ellis spent more than three decades in the Silicon Valley, where he worked at four different successful software start-up companies.

But the Brattleboro, Vt. native never lost his love for Mother Nature’'s sweetest natural product. His family has been in the maple business for more than a half century.

So he combined his passion for the industry and technology to start Putney, Vt.-based Hidden Springs Maple. At first, he ran the company remotely, with help from family members, while still living in California, before coming home to the Green Mountain State two-and-a-half years ago.

Cooper-Ellis explained how his firm has grown and how sugar makers can expand their own sales, in the workshop, “Strategies for Online Marketing of Maple Products” at the 2018 Vermont Maple Conference & Tradeshow last winter.

"“What we’'re selling here is an experience of Vermont,"” he said. “"We have a huge value in the brand of Vermont. We try to leverage that. Many customers have been to Vermont and they want to stay in touch with it."”

What better way than with an online purchase of maple product?

"“Our mission is to use the power of the Internet to sell maple,"” he said. “"That'’s what we’'ve been doing.”" MORE ]


Canada slaps a 10 percent tariff on U.S. syrup

Peter Gregg | July 2, 2018

OTTAWA, Ont.—Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau imposed a retaliatory ten percent tariff on maple sugar and maple syrup this week, one of hundreds of items targeted in a mounting trade war.

“These countermeasures will take effect on July 1, 2018 and will remain in place until the U.S. eliminates trade-restrictive measures against Canadian steel and aluminum products,” Trudeau’s government said in a statement Sunday.

The U.S. exports approximately $12 million in maple products to the country, according to government statistics. Most of that syrup originates in Maine. MORE ]


Syrup demand continues at an all-time high

Peter Gregg | Feb. 23, 2018

MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—As sugarmakers go into another season, bulk prices are holding low. But demand for syrup is at an all time high.

“Demand is very good and we’re very bullish on the future,” said John Kingston, chief executive officer of Butternut Mountain Farms in Morrisville, Vt., one of the biggest bulk syrup buyers in the U.S.


Colleges tap into maple education

Mike Rechlin | Oct. 11, 2017

The maple syrup industry has always had important links to Colleges and Universities. As an industry that continues to go through rapid changes in technology, we rely heavily on university research to drive innovation and change. MORE ]


When buying sap, many factors can affect price

Michael Farrell | July 8, 2017

Many sugarmakers buy sap as a means of augmenting their own syrup production and getting better utilization of the equipment in their sugarhouse.

There are many factors that can and should affect the prices a sugarmaker is willing to pay for sap. These include sap sugar concentration, bulk syrup prices, sap quality, and how syrup production or revenues will be divided. MORE ]


U.S. sets modern day record in maple production

Peter Gregg | June 9

Sugarmakers in the U.S. had another monster year with more than 4.2 million gallons produced this spring, breaking yet another record, according to statistics complied by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, a branch of the USDA.
In all, the United States production was 4,271,000 gallons of syrup made, beating last year’s total of 4,207,000 and setting yet another modern day record. MORE ]


Season rocking for some, others praying for a reset

Peter Gregg | March 4, 2017

Sugarmakers were hoping for a reset this weekend, as temperatures are expected to drop well below zero and hopefully stalling swelling trees.
“The buds are fat in my warmer woods,” said Richard Brodmerkle, a sugarmaker in Oakham, Mass. who has been boiling since mid-January on his 1,250 taps. MORE ]


Ohio sugarmaker ‘all in’ on bourbon syrup

Peter Gregg | January 2016

Nate Bissell is quickly becoming the industry’s number one syrup ruiner.

That’s the tongue in cheek way he describes his fledgling operation where he takes good syrup and pours it into old bourbon barrels and lets it sit for nine months.

The result? A smooth, extremely flavorful syrup that tastes almost exactly like bourbon and fetches an incredible price in urban markets. Two bucks an ounce, in some cases. MORE ]