Maple Syrup Production Quotas
The main purpose of the quota system is to adjust the supply of maple syrup to consumer demand. It has three other objectives:
The Maple Syrup Quota System
In 2004, after consultation with about 2,000 maple producers from all the regions of Québec and a unanimous vote in favour by delegates and representatives at the annual meeting, Québec Maple Syrup Producers adopted the quota system with the Règlement sur le contingentement de la production et de la mise en marché du produit visé par le plan conjoint des producteurs acéricoles du Québec.
The book Si l’érable m’était conté explores the history of maple production, including the regulation of the industry through the work of Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP).
Each year, QMSP calculates producers’ average annual yields to determine whether their quotas should be adjusted higher or lower. For a marketing year, a producer’s yield is calculated by dividing production by the number of declared taps for which a quota is held.
This method varies according to the number of years the sugar bush has been in operation.
- For at least 5 years: the adjustment is calculated upon the average per-tap yield from three of the previous five marketing years, excluding the best and worst annual yields
- Operating for 4 years: the adjustment is calculated upon the average yields of two of the four marketing years, excluding the best and worst annual yields
- For less than 4 years: the adjustment is based on the average yields of the operation’s existing marketing years.
- Important: if a producer has failed to produce a crop in one or more of the previous five years due to force majeure, the average yield is calculated on the other (producing) years during this period.
Upon establishing the average yield, the quota is increased or decreased, according to the following guidelines:
- If the average yield is less than the quota amount, but not less than 85% of quota, the quota remains the same;
- If the average yield is less than 85% of the quota amount, the quota is reduced (a maximum of 5%);
- If the average yield is greater than the quota amount, the quota is increased (a maximum of 25% or to the five-year average of all producers).
- Non-Quota Taps: Producers with unregulated taps must be able to demonstrate that their direct sales to consumers (B2C) are of syrup originating from in-quota taps. If not, they are ineligible for upward quota adjustments;
- Maple Production Plan: producers who do not supply maple production plans for all woodlots in production are ineligible for upward quota adjustments.