Canada: OPEC of Maple Syrup

In $18 Million Theft, Victim Was a Canadian Maple Syrup Cartel

Depending on the year, the province can produce more than three-quarters of the world’s supply. And its marketing organization appears to have taken some tips from the producers of another valuable liquid commodity when it comes to exploiting market dominance.

“It’s like OPEC,” said Simon TrĂ©panier, acting general manager of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. “We’re not producing all the maple syrup in the world. But by producing 70 to 78 percent, we have the ability to adjust the quantity that is in the marketplace.”

Since 1999, Quebec’s maple syrup industry has used a marketing system found in other Canadian agricultural sectors, particularly dairy and poultry. Put simply, the supply management system sets strict quotas for producers and, in the case of maple syrup, requires them to sell their product through the federation.
Comment: Image capture from Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers
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Final comment: We're spoiled. We only use real maple syrup on pancakes - a Saturday tradition.

1 comment:

  1. Time magazine: Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

    It may seem bizarre that Canada has a maple syrup cartel at all. But think of it this way: Quebec, which produces about 77% of the world’s maple syrup, is the Saudi Arabia of the sweet, sticky stuff, and the FPAQ is its OPEC. The stated goal of the cartel, in this case, is keeping prices relatively stable.

    The problem with maple syrup is that the natural supply of it varies dramatically from year to year. “It’s highly dependent on the weather,” explains Pascal Theriault, an agricultural economist at the McGill University in Montreal.


    So since 1989, the FPAQ has modulated supply to keep prices stable, setting aside maple syrup in good years and releasing it in bad ones. Theriault says relatively little maple syrup was produced from 2005 through 2008. But from 2009 through 2012, the syrup flowed fast and sweet, filling warehouse with reserves and setting the stage for the maple syrup heist.


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