MENOMONIE, Wisc.—Sugarmaker Mark Casper said producers in Wisconsin were upset with an apparent mislabeling mixup by Midwest homestore megachain Menards, which was selling Canadian syrup on its website with a “Made in U.S.A.” banner.
As of last week, the superstore chain was advertising Canadian syrup from Bernard & Sons, one of the biggest packers in Quebec, as being “Made in the USA.” The store was selling quarts of the Bernard syrup on its site for $8.99.
The ad has since been changed, with the Made in U.S.A. tag removed.
Casper, a 6,000-tap producer in Menomonie, Wisc. who makes syrup just a few miles from Menards’ Eau Claire, Wisc. headquarters, said he and other Badger state producers reached out to the store in protest.
“I am very unhappy to see that you are advertising and selling Quebec, Canada produced pure maple syrup as being ‘Made in the USA.’ Why!??’” Casper said in an email to the company last week.
“As a producer of pure maple syrup, we are held to the highest standards of production and labeling by not only the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, but the FDA as well,” Casper wrote. “Your stores should be held to the same standard as far as not advertising falsely!”
A spokesperson for the company would not comment on the mislabeling accusations but pointed out that it sells Wisconsin-made syrup on the same website.
“Northwood Pure Maple Syrup is made in Wisconsin and sold at Menards and Menards.com,” spokesman Jeff Abbott told The Maple News.
Northwoods Pure Maple Syrup of Merrill, Wisc. has its 8oz. bottles featured on the Menards site for $4.65, with a 51 cent mail-in rebate.