Will Vt. sugar-makers be affected as Canada taps maple syrup reserves?

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 11:43 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 6:11 PM EST
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont maple sugar-makers are evaluating what the release of Canada’s strategic maple syrup reserves means for them.

Quebec maple syrup producers control nearly 70% of the globe’s maple syrup production. And Canada is tapping into nearly 50 million pounds to keep syrup on the shelves after a year of lower yield.

Vermont Agriculture Secretary Anson Tebbetts says warmer conditions made for a tough year for maple producers on both sides of the border. He says Vermont is keeping an eye on the situation to see what it means for our maple market.

“As we know, Vermont is the leader in the nation of Vermont maple. It is the finest. We’ll be fine but sugar-makers will be monitoring this to see what it brings to them,” Tebbetts said.

Cory Ayotte from the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association says demand has been up as people turned to cooking and baking at home during the pandemic.

“People are using more maple,” Ayotte said. “So, 2021 was not a good season for most producers here in Vermont and in Canada, as well. So, you know, numbers were down in production and, like I said, numbers are up in consumption. So this all makes sense. So, it’s nothing too scary. It’s, you know, it’s kind of expected.”

Ayotte said supply chain issues have not been impacted sugar-makers the way other industries have been hit.

“Things are OK,” he said. “We’re surviving the pandemic, you know, because there’s a lot of other industries that are hurting from supply issues, but we’re still getting maple syrup out the door. And we’re just looking forward to a good 2022 season.”

Watch the video below to see our Dom Amato’s full interview with Cory Ayotte.

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