Maple Syrup Shortage Prompts Canada to Release Strategic Reserves
Strategic reserves of maple syrup are being released to meet rising demand.
The mostly French-speaking Québec province produces nearly three quarters of the world's maple syrup and has the world's sole strategic reserve. That stockpile of more than 100 million pounds of syrup is designed to ensure the sweet treat is always available at consistent prices even if production is cut by bad weather in some years.
NPR reported that Quebec Maple Syrup Producers will now release 50 million pounds/43 million kg, about half its reserves, because a shorter and warmer than normal spring meant producers couldn't harvest enough maple to keep up with demand.
The OPEC of maple syrup
"The pandemic helped in our case because we're seeing people cook more at home and use more local products,'' the group's spokesperson Helene Normandin told Bloomberg. "It's not just in Quebec the demand is increasing.''
Seven million new taps for maple trees will be issued in 2022 to help keep the syrup, a popular accompaniment for everything from pancakes and porridge to roasted meats and vegetables, supplied to consumers. This year was, in fact, an average rather than a bad year for maple production in Québec, with a harvest estimated at 133 million pounds.
While many may have never heard of the strategic maple reserves, it isn't the first time it has hit the headlines. In 2012, nearly 3,000 tonnes of the liquid gold, worth around C$19 million/€13 million, was stolen from the stockpile in what came to be known as “The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist”.
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