How 6-Million Pounds of Maple Syrup Disappeared from the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve

#Food

Fri, Jan 4th, 2013 20:00 by capnasty NEWS

With a cost per barrel of about $1,800 dollars -- about 13 times more expensive than oil -- it is no wonder what someone would have gone to such great lengths to steal all that maple syrup from the amusingly named Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve. And yet, as this article on Bloomberg Businessweek reveals, the theft had more at to do with maple-syrup-politics than profit.

Large questions loom about whether Québec's tightly controlled system will survive in the long term. In 2002, the first year the new rules went into effect, Québec claimed 80 percent of world maple syrup production. The Federation has raised its quota from 68 million pounds to 115 million pounds today, but its market share is slipping. In 2011, its share dropped to 71 percent of the market as U.S. states and Canadian provinces without quotas have risen to supply cheaper syrup, according to buyers. Last June, Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) inserted the Maple TAP Act into the draft of the Farm Bill to provide grants to farmers to tap trees on private lands and to promote the industry. New York has 280 million tappable maple trees -- three times more than Québec -- but very few are tapped. The bill stalled in the House in September and may not pass until well into 2013. Trépanier is watching all these developments closely. "We are not idiots," he says, adding that in his mind climate change ultimately will tip the syrup scales in favor of his countrymen.

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