COVID-19 and Maple Production
On March 11 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The Canadian and Québec governments responded with unprecedented public protection measures. Agricultural producer unions, including Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec (PPAQ) were quick to bring in their own measures to limit the spread of the virus and its impacts on farmers and other producers. You might also want to stay up to date on the virus by following the PPAQ Facebook page and visiting this COVID-19 crisis management page regularly.
Please use email to contact us, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staffing at PPAQ’s Longueuil headquarters has been reduced for safety reasons. Many employees are working from home. Your email will therefore be answered more quickly than would a phone call.
May 15, 2020
2020 maple syrup delivery and payment
The PPAQ Producer Services team is getting a lot of questions about 2020 maple syrup delivery and payment. So we’ve put together answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Advance Payment Program | New formula
A letter explaining the 2020-05-06_Annexes_Programme_PPA was sent to maple syrup producers this week. Under this program, producers can get an advance even before their syrup is delivered to buyers or to Laurierville.
Maple syrup grading
Maple syrup grading in Quebec has been underway for close to a month. Special steps have been taken to comply with the health and hygiene measures introduced during the pandemic.
PPAQ, CIE and ACER Division Inspection are working together to minimize slowdowns in grading caused by the current situation.
Questions? Please see our FAQ.
This explanatory letter has been sent to maple syrup producers.
Producers not allowed on the premises
For maple syrup delivery and grading at authorized buyers’ sites or in Laurierville, we’ve agreed with the buyers that only those people essential to their operation are to have plant access. Therefore, other than plant staff, only ACER Inspection Division classification teams will be admitted to the various authorized buyer sites. As a result and until further notice, producers will not have the option of being present when their syrup is graded or have access to unloading and weighing areas due to the exceptional public health measures introduced as a result of the ongoing pandemic. Maple syrup classified as VR5 or CT will be automatically reviewed at PPAQ’s expense.
Producers can view their classification reports and request a grading review if they so wish on Producer WEB.
Isopropyl alcohol-free tubing cleaning
The Acer Center published a special document (French only) to help maple syrup producers clean up the alcohol-free tubing.
Maple syrup sales and interregional travel
Maple operations have been recognized by the government of Québec as belonging to an essential industry in the context of the current public health crisis. Here are some things that will help make it easier to transport and deliver your maple products. As a maple producer, you may find them useful if you have to go through a road block when travelling from one region to another.
- PPAQ encourages owners of maple operations with quotas (who have a PPAQ member number) to take at least one piece of ID and proof that they own a maple operation (e.g., tax account, business number) with them on the road.
- TRAVEL FOR THIRD-PARTY SALES:Maple syrup producers with quotas who sell to consumers directly or through third parties will receive a letter of attestation from PPAQ during the week of April 6. It should make it easier to get across regional borders to sell maple products. Please keep it with you when you’re travelling.
- DELIVERING MAPLE SYRUP TO BUYERS:For bulk maple syrup delivery to authorized buyers, we suggest asking them to provide you with a letter attesting to your business relationship and explaining why it’s necessary to make the trip.
- FARM GATE SALES:Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec allows direct sales of maple products at the sugar bush. All owners of maple operations are however required to follow the government of Québec’s hygiene and social-distancing rules to help control the spread of COVID-19. If you have to travel to deliver maple products to your customers, please get in touch with PPAQ by emailing email@example.com.
- MAPLE SYRUP BARREL DELIVERY AT THE LAURIERVILLE WAREHOUSE:You will receive guidelines on how to transport and deliver bulk maple syrup to the Laurierville warehouse when you make your appointment.
Travel between regions in Québec
On March 29, the Government of Québec announced it would be limiting travel between regions. In principle, people involved in the logistics and agrifood chain are considered part of essential services and can still travel between regions. This includes maple syrup producers and their employees and partners.
This letter (French only) can be completed by maple syrup business owners and used as proof in the event a Sûreté du Québec officer stops a maple industry employee who is traveling for work.
Specific information about traveling between regions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The PPAQ is in contact with the office of Québec’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and can help if you or one of your employees has a problem related to interregional travel.
Guidelines for 2020 Maple Syrup Production
In this document, PPAQ suggests guidelines for maple water harvest and maple syrup production continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. PPAQ wants to stress how important it is for you to look out for your own health and safety as well as that of your family, employees, customers, and authorized buyers.
Agricultural operations are essential
The government of Québec has ordered the closure of all nonessential businesses and other services from March 25 to April 13, 2020.
Agricultural operations are however on the list of essential services and commercial activities, so they may continue operating.
The following have been identified as priority areas:
• Food production (for example agricultural operations, food processing, drink production, slaughterhouses, and market-garden vegetable production)
• Production of inputs needed by priority areas
• Agricultural operation suppliers (machinery, fertilizer, etc.)
PPAQ will continue operations while adhering to public health guidelines. Most of the Longueuil office staff will work remotely.
1. Continuation of advance payment at classification
PPAQ has had to reduce its staff to a minimum. However, we want to reassure you that we have a contingency plan in place to ensure service to producers and buyers at all times as well as payment of classification advances, which should begin in the first week of April, as in previous years.
2. Succession quota delay
The PPAQ board of directors has decided, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, to delay issuing the 40,000 succession quota taps for the June 15 application deadline. No new date has been set yet. PPAQ is following the crisis closely. You will be notified as soon as the succession quota program is back in action.
3. UNION LIFE
Annual General Meeting delayed
The PPAQ annual general assembly, originally scheduled for late May, has been moved to fall 2020. The PPAQ board of directors decided to delay the annual event for the protection of participants. But don’t worry, you will still have the opportunity to hear from your union on what it accomplished over the last fiscal year. All maple syrup producers with quotas will be getting their invitation to AGA 2020 in due course.
4. For more on COVID-19
- Government of Canada and COVID-19
- Government of Québec
- Union des producteurs agricoles
- Financement agricole Canada
- Financière agricole du Québec
Employers and employees: visit CNESST website to learn more about the measures to be taken to identify, control and eliminate the virus.
CNESST and COVID-19