The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup is a 2016 Jean-Paul Raymond Award winner in the Provincial category. The award, which recognizes and rewards a team of farmers for completing a collective union activity or project, was bestowed on the Federation board of directors by the president of Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) on December 1 at UPA’s 92nd Annual Congress. The Federation was recognized for its project “Érable unis : conservons notre mise en marché collective” (United Maple: Let’s Keep Collective Marketing). The sizable demonstration was organized to protest the recommendations set out in the Gagné report commissioned by Quebec’s Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food. The objective was to rally maple syrup producers and send a message to Minister Paradis that the maple syrup sector’s health and prosperity depend on the collective marketing process to prevent the instability, tax evasion, and dearth of development that marked the industry before contingencies and the strategic reserve were put in place.
“Despite industry headwinds, when the report came out, our producers’ satisfaction level went up seven points, from 75% to 82%. We take great pride in seeing our producers and industry stand side by side and fight for each other’s interests,” said Federation president Serge Beaulieu. “We are honoured to be accepting this award, but we couldn’t have done it without the 1,200 producers who attended the protest, people from other agricultural operations that came out to support us, UPA’s senior management, and our employees. It was a real team effort around a project we can all get behind: keeping our collective marketing process in place.”
For more information, read the press release (in French).
Watch the video of the protest on February 16, 2016