The Gilles-Gavreau tribute award, created in 2012 by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of a member to the maple producers’ union, has been awarded posthumously this year to Léonard Lampron, who died in June 2013. Mr. Lampron served as president of the Mauricie producers’ union and sat on the board of directors of the Federation from 1981 to 1998. As founder of Syndicat des producteurs de sucre et sirop d’érable de la région de la Mauricie, Léonard Lampron’s first feat was to successfully defend the interests of maple syrup producers in the Mauricie region after the ice storm of 1983. He also helped set up the first joint plan which, although it was rejected in 1984, paved the way for our current plan.
To strengthen the farmers’ union movement, Mr. Lampron and his team were the first to introduce voluntary contributions. He also helped create a syrup bank administered by participating producers. The syrup bank was the initial version of the strategic reserve that has made our industry the success it is today. On top of that, Mr. Lampron helped establish a list of suggested prices to support retail syrup sales.
Following a number of difficult years for the industry, he again helped spur producers in the Mauricie region to set up a joint plan. He played a key role in ensuring the joint plan’s success in 1989, when 84% of Quebec maple syrup producers voted in favor of the Federation’s new plan.
He then helped found Regroupement pour la commercialisation des produits de l’érable inc., the Federation’s first sales agency. Mr. Lampron had a remarkable talent for marketing and communications. From the “Sirop nouveau” tastings he organized each spring to the new logo for Mauricie region maple products, his top priority was always the development of the maple syrup industry.
Serge Beaulieu, president of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, presented the posthumous award to Léonard Lampron’s wife, Claudette Lampron, and his son, Éric.