Despite tariff war, US and Canadian maple producers find common ground | The NewsHouse.

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After the leaves fall in October, the mountains that rise toward the Canadian border north of Jackman, Maine, begin to wear their maple like a fuzzy, gray wool blanket. Sugar and red maple are abundant here, but the trees grow mostly on high and inaccessible ridges. So it might have seemed odd when, in , a successful Quebecois electrical engineer named Claude Rodrigue left his home country and abandoned an otherwise lucrative career with energy giant Hydro-Quebec in order to start a sugar farm in Maine — from scratch.

At the time, syrup markets were poor, prices depressed. So remote was the acreage he chose to lease from a local timberland owner — still off the grid at the dawn of the 21st century — that Rodrigue was forced to invest in electric poles and seven miles of powerline to bring electricity across the border from Canada.

He and his son, Francoise, now run a 50,tap operation that is among the largest in Maine. And he is no longer alone in the valley. Some , taps now adorn even the steepest ridges, where a decade ago there were none.

Local sugarmakers are collectively planning to add as many as , taps in the next five years. Production has doubled in the U. Optimists see the maple syrup boom as the linchpin in a rural New England revival that includes expanding demand for locally sourced food, timber, forest products like wild mushrooms and fiddleheads, and eco-tourism.

Sap flowed freely and markets were flooded with cheap syrup. The next two years followed suit: big flows, low prices. In truth, these were familiar problems. Maple syrup production was near the bottom of a wrenching, year slide that had begun shortly before the Civil War. Shrewd American capitalists recognized that it was cheaper and more efficient to source sweeteners for tea and baked goods from neat rows of planted sugarbeets in the American South, or sugarcane in the tropics, than it was to try to tame unruly maple trees in the fickle weather of a New England spring.

Maple sugaring held on, of course, as a quaint, lowtech, rural pastime in places like Vermont and Maine, but for most, a serious business it was not. In the middle of the twentieth century, many operations still looked as they had years before, with tin buckets fed by metal taps, wood-fired boilers, and sometimes even horse-drawn sleighs.

Production was labor intensive, and demand small. By , production had bottomed out at a paltry , gallons, a mere one-tenth of the astonishing 6. The development of chemically processed sweeteners was the last straw, and pure maple began to be phased out for these cheaper, easier-to-source alternatives.

Most mass-market pancake dressings, including the kind labeled with pretty drawings of snowy mountain scenes and log cabins, came to be made almost entirely of corn syrup. Committed sugarmakers, meanwhile, were forever caught between two opposing forces: Mother Nature and the marketplace.

In a year of abundant sap flow, markets saturated and prices dropped. Lanoue had to close his dining room in mid-March, barely two weeks after the start of “maple sugar time. An annual tradition that runs until the end of April, Quebecers and visitors flock to rustic sugar shacks to feast on spiced sausages, sticky baked beans, fluffy omelets and Christ’s ears deep-fried pork fat — all layered with golden maple syrup. It’s topped off with a dessert of maple “taffy,” made of thick hot syrup spread over snow and rolled around a popsicle stick.

Usually, “catering represents from 75 to 80 percent” of revenues, but this year Lanoue will have to be content with the sale of his syrup, “which does not represent much. A similar scenario is playing out in the neighboring village of Saint-Esprit, at the Constantin Gregoire sugar shack. Nevertheless, Jacqueline, a client, wants to come “buy maple syrup, like every year. Usually we come to eat at the cabin. But this year, because of the virus, it’s not possible. There are more than of these so-called “commercial” cabins in the province of Quebec, explains Helene Normandin, spokeswoman for the federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers.

Cyr encouraged me to lift one of the barrels. Imagine trying to steal one of those barrels—now imagine trying to steal 10, It was the Lufthansa heist of the syrup world.

In the summer of , on one of those July days when the first hint of autumn cools the northern forest, Michel Gauvreau began his precarious climb up the barrels in St.

Once a year, FPAQ takes an inventory of the barrels. Gauvreau was near the top of the stack when one of the barrels teetered, then nearly gave way.

Normally, weighing more than pounds when filled, the barrels are sturdy, so something was clearly amiss. When Gauvreau knocked on the barrel, it tolled like a gong. When he unscrewed the cap, he discovered it empty.

At first, it seemed like this might have been a glitch, a mistake, but soon more punk barrels were found—many more. My God, they could be in Thunder Bay by now! Just like that, the facility was swarming with cops.

It was a great mystery. There were no security cameras. Who would steal syrup? And, even if some sick bastard wanted to, what would he carry it away in? How far could he get? They promised to spare no expense.

About people were questioned, 40 search warrants executed. It was not O. It was not the bearded doctor and one-armed man. But it was special, strange.

There was something stirring about making off with all that syrup; it boggled the mind. It felt less like a crime than a prank, what you might do to your brother if you were all-powerful and he had a lot of syrup. Of course it was serious business to FPAQ; nearly , gallons of syrup had been stolen— It became known as the Great Maple Syrup Heist and was said to be among the most fantastic agricultural crimes ever committed, which, granted, is an odd subset.

And sticky. How do you hide it? Who do you get to smuggle it? Where can you sell it? It was most likely an inside job. Not a member of FPAQ—though rogue syrup producers have their theories—nor a manufacturer, but a tenant who happened to be renting space in the same facility.

That would mean access: keys, ID card, reason to be there. FPAQ supplied the motive. The value of the commodity, the tight control of supply, the resulting black market. In the post-apocalyptic world, as Mad Max runs the gauntlet for petrol, Canucks will be fighting over those last precious drops of genuine maple.

Working with a handful of others, some with knowledge of the trade, they apparently went after the bounty like Mickey in the Night Kitchen, dreaming their dream between midnight and dawn, when the world is half realized, insubstantial. According to the prosecutor, the gang would truck barrels out of the Reserve to a sugar shack where they would siphon the syrup in the way you siphon gasoline from a semi, feeding it, a cask at a time, into their own ramshackle barrels and then re-filling the originals with water.

As the operation grew, the masterminds allegedly brought on accomplices and began siphoning the syrup directly from barrels in the Reserve. Nearly 10, barrels of syrup were stolen and trucked to points south and east, where the market is free. So far, prosecutors have brought four men to trial. By Bess Levin. By Jessica Radloff. By Julie Miller.

The scene is something tourists await wholeheartedly. If you want to experience nature at its best then you should see the falling of leaves and sprawling foliage while you are on Algonquin Park, which is located near Toronto.

The place is embedded with forests, lakes and rivers and provides adventure sports facilities too. The best time to visit this heavenly place would be between October to December to see and feel the golden-coloured maple trees shedding their warmth, venture forth for forest trails and enjoy cakes and drinks by the lakes.

If you are lucky, you might also get to watch migratory birds and foreign blue whales in and around the lakes and rivers. Keep your binoculars ready! Did you know that the park is a part of the border which lies between Northern Ontario and Southern Ontario? The region of the park falls in-between the area of transition between the northern coniferous forests and southern deciduous spread.

This very unusual combination of forest types, and the wide encirclement of the varying environments in the park, allow the area to breathe a rather uncommon diversity of plant and animal species. The park is also considered to be an extremely important site for wildlife ushers and is vital for research. Algonquin Park is well recognised within the Ontario province. This area is well known industrial logging and relevant transactions to take place within the circumference of its borders.

This makes the park yet again crucial for tourist attractions. The country gleams with the colour yellow gold of maple leaves spread out like a carpet all across the country and looks exactly identical to a picture postcard. Set alongside the banks of the Otonabee River, Peterborough is another gem of a place to visit in the country of Canada.

 
 

 

Overview: importing maple syrup and maple products – Canadian Food Inspection Agency – Most of the world’s maple syrup comes from Quebec

 
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) regulates maple syrup and maple products imported into Canada to ensure they are safe. Maple syrup that is graded Canada Grade A and is sent or conveyed from one province to another or exported, or that is graded Grade A and is.

 
 

Maple Syrup Industry | The Canadian Encyclopedia.

 
 
Canada produces 92 percent of the world’s maple syrup, largely thanks to Quebec (72 percent), with the rest coming from American border states. Across the border, Canada produced more than million gallons of maple syrup in compared to the nearly 5 million gallons the United. Sugar and red maple are abundant here, but the trees grow mostly on of powerline) to bring electricity across the border from Canada.

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