A Flying Start to 2022
Editorial by QMSP President Serge Beaulieu
It’s a great pleasure today to share my thoughts with you in the pages of the brand new InfoSirop. As many of you will know, Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) has been communicating with maple producers all over Québec with this publication since 1994.
It’s our hope that InfoSirop Magazine will be a source of inspiration for you and continue to be what it has always been, the reference for maple production.
Hot topics to follow
Also as always, QMSP is working hard to represent and defend you. In this first quarter of 2022, the following issues have kept us very busy: the future of maple production on public lands; reform of the maple syrup classification system, and; bringing new producers into the industry.
On the first issue, in his address to delegates at our November 2021 semi-annual meeting, Minister of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks (MFFP) Pierre Dufour committed to the tabling of a departmental master plan on maple production in public forests. Since then, we have been working with his department via the provincial maple strategy group and various committees. At the time of this writing, we await this plan as well as Minister Dufour’s response to our invitation to present it at our Annual General Meeting on May 25, 2022.
For 2022, I join you in hoping for nothing less than a bountiful harvest. We need it to support booming world demand and to replenish our Strategic Reserve. Simultaneously, we know that the maple syrup grading system needs to be reviewed in light of our increased production. A little over a year and a half ago, we asked several QMSP administrators to sit on a classification committee with a mandate to improve the grading system in the short, medium, and long terms. We believe it is imperative to modernize and standardize. In a related move, we implemented a pilot project this spring for barrel sampling at the sugar shack, in order to pave the way to centralized classification.
It is my sincere hope that the upcoming master plan will fix importance on the development of maple production in Québec’s public forests, that it will reflect the significant economic contribution our industry represents, not the least of which is the livelihoods of thousands of families throughout the regions of Québec.
Québec Maple Industrie is Booming
You and I know that the maple industry is in a boom period. In fact, very few agricultural sectors can match our type of growth: a 20% increase in sales and exports… two years running. This is why it’s vital that we increase production and get more producers into the forest. By 2024, there will be another 1,300 maple enterprises in our collective marketing system, and 57 million taps in production.
So, I say to all maple producers in Québec that I am counting on you to welcome our new colleagues with open arms to our collective endeavours. May they be as proud and passionate about what they do as we have been for 32 years… together!
On that note, I wish you an excellent sugaring season!
President, Québec Maple Syrup Producers
Text published in InfoSirop Magazine, Spring 2022