LONGUEUIL, Que.—The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers will be auctioning 5 million new taps for the 2017 season, and all upcoming seasons, during a lottery to be held on Friday, October 7.
Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec (RMAAQ), the governing body of the Quebec quota system, approved the increase in production quotas for maple syrup in the province this summer. The Federation is now able to take the necessary steps to allocate these new quotas set at 5 million taps for this year.
“The Régie’s decision will have a tremendous impact on Quebec’s maple syrup industry as a whole," said Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation. "Initially, it will generate investments of at least $100 million in all of Quebec’s maple syrup producing regions. Equipment manufacturers and suppliers, and workers in the regions will certainly be the first to benefit. Then, once these new taps are in production, they will help to reinforce Quebec’s position as a maple syrup leader by increasing its worldwide market share. Ultimately, hundreds of businesses will expand and new businesses may even be created, helping to create wealth and prosperity in rural areas and contributing to a $70 M an increase in GDP, year after year.”
Allocation of 5 million taps
In order to encourage new producers, 40,000 taps will be allocated to young entrepreneur producers (aged 18 to 39 years) and 1,339,200 taps to startups. The remaining 3,620,800 taps will be allocated to producers who already have a quota and would like to expand their business. The steps for each producer category are indicated on the Federation’s website: fpaq.ca.
The young entrepreneur component will automatically be offered each year. Startup producers had until August 15, 2016, and expansion projects until September 15, 2016, to submit their registrations.
Dates were chosen based on the time required for setting up new sugar bushes. It takes between one and two years to establish a new sugar bush and six months to carry out expansions. By expediting the allocation process, the Federation will enable as many businesses as possible to begin producing by 2017.
According to the Federation, 5 million taps mean:
$43 million more in the Quebec economy
Around 15 million more pounds of maple syrup
Nearly 10 million cans of maple syrup
Hundreds of new maple syrup businesses in production
Investments of $100 million in sugar bushes
More wealth and prosperity in rural areas
Maintenance of Quebec’s position as the world maple syrup leader
From a resolution adopted at an assembly of maple syrup producers to concrete action for the industry
In 2014, maple syrup producers gathered at the annual general assembly voted to amend the policy on quotas to allow for issuing new quotas. After conducting a market analysis and observing that Quebec needed to increase its production, and with maple syrup producers wishing to welcome new producers and encourage the new generation of producers under 40 years of age, the Federation filed an application to increase the quota on April 4, 2015. It should be pointed out that since quotas were put in place in 2004, the Federation has issued a quota only once, in 2008.
A first step was taken on March 22, 2016, when RMAAQ held a public meeting where the various groups and individuals affected by the increase in maple syrup quotas could express their opinions. At this meeting, the Federation officially applied for 2.35 million taps to be added. Subsequently, at the request of RMAAQ, discussions took place with Conseil de l’industrie de l’érable (CIE), resulting in the filing of an amended application on April 5, 2016, for an increase in the total quota of 5 million taps. It is this last joint application involving the entire sector that was accepted by RMAAQ. Once these 5 million taps are all in production, Quebec will have 48 million taps, which will enable the province’s maple syrup industry to increase its share of global production to more than 72%, become more competitive, and, above all, meet the growing world demand for maple syrup and products.
Objectives of maple syrup production quotas
The main objective of the policy on quotas is to adjust the maple syrup supply to consumer demand. Three other specific objectives are also targeted:
1.Stabilize the selling price for maple syrup producers and, ultimately, the purchase price for consumers
2. Foster investments in the maple industry
3. Maintain production for the same number of maple syrup businesses, regardless of their size