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News: Canada’s Maple Syrup Reserve Nearly Empty After a String of Warm Winters

One of the world’s most widely eaten wild foods is in short supply after a number of mild winters has thrown production off.

Canadian maple syrup producers harvested 10.4 million gallons of maple syrup in 2023, down 40.1% from production in 20221, while the 2023 U.S. maple syrup crop was down approximately 15%2.

Canada’s leading maple province, Quebec, who produces 90% of Canada’s supply (and 67% of the world’s), experienced a 40% decline in reported production in 2023, while the US leading maple state, Vermont, who produces 49% of the US supply demonstrated very mixed reports based on location and micro-climates.

2024 looks like another bad year, with unpredictable and unseasonable temperatures, and an increase in damaging storms.


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Maple syrup production has always been subject to the whims of nature, which is why the Québec Maple Syrup Producers in Canada established its Strategic Reserve, the world’s only syrup reserve (think: the Fort Knox of maple syrup). When production exceeds demand, surplus maple syrup is pasteurized, preserved in food-grade containers, and stored. Then, when it’s a poor harvest year, syrup in the reserve is made available to buyers3.

For the first time ever this reserve has dwindled to just 6.9 million pounds — a mere fraction of the 133 million pounds it is built to hold4. While producers aren’t quite panicking yet, it’s worth noting that the world depends largely on Quebec for supplying it. With this year’s unseasonably warm late-winter weather, coupled with ice storms that have affected syrup production and low reserves, it’s likely that consumers will see a slight shortage of maple syrup and an increase in price.

“We really, really need a good production year this year, because we want to not only fill the markets with the product that it needs, but also be able to build back the strategic reserve,” said Simon Doré-Ouellet, Deputy General-Manager of Québec Maple Syrup Producers. 

Doré-Ouellet said there is no concern of an immediate shortage, and his organization is distributing millions of new taps across the province in an effort to ramp up production over the coming years5.   

This might be a good time to learn to tap your own trees for syrup. Did you know that other trees beside sugar maples can be tapped? Black, silver, and red maples can be tapped, and so can box elder/Manitoba maples, hickories, black walnuts, and birch. Just note that each tree’s sap will have a different flavor and that sugar maples have the highest concentration of sugar and so will produce a higher yield.

  1. Statistics Canada: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/231212/dq231212d-eng.htm ↩︎
  2. Farm Credit East: https://www.farmcrediteast.com/en/resources/todays-harvest-Blog/240305MapleOutlook2024 ↩︎
  3. Producteurs et Productrices Acericoles du Quebec: https://ppaq.ca/en/sale-purchase-maple-syrup/worlds-only-reserve-maple-syrup/#:~:text=This%20unpredictability%20is%20why%20Qu%C3%A9bec,is%20made%20available%20to%20buyers. ↩︎
  4. Global News: https://globalnews.ca/news/10382527/maple-syrup-production-reserves-low-canada/ ↩︎
  5. The Star: https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/canadas-maple-syrup-reserve-almost-empty-as-sap-season-at-risk-of-becoming-another-casualty/article_6f498bce-e788-11ee-8773-c71464d8be74.html ↩︎

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