The World’s Only Reserve of Maple Syrup
a strategic role
Maple syrup production is highly dependant on the weather. In years when Mother Nature is generous, it can result in production surpassing demand, and the industry struggles to deal with a surplus. And when weather conditions are unfavourable, producers can’t supply all the maple syrup that consumers want. This unpredictability is why Québec Maple Syrup Producers established its Strategic Reserve. When production exceeds demand, surplus maple syrup is pasteurized, preserved in food-grade containers, and stored. Then, when it’s a poor harvest year, syrup in the reserve is made available to buyers. In this way, we are virtually never out of stock and the markets remain supplied.
The Reserve therefore plays a critical role in the management of our resource because it:
Ensures a constant supply to our national and international markets, regardless the success of any year’s harvest;
Stabilizes product prices, eliminating the swings typically caused by shortage or surplus.
Inventory levels in the Reserve are calculated annually on an actuarial basis. When stocks decline, QMSP may replenish them by issuing additional quotas to maple producers. When inventories grow too large, incentives may be offered to buyers to stimulate markets and sales.
This is a collective effort by Québec maple producers, an ambitious and effective way to manage our markets. The stability it creates lays the groundwork for better planning and development. Furthermore, the Reserve is wholly owned by QMSP so, when maple syrup is sold from the stockpile, maple producers get paid.
The Laurierville Plant and Warehouse, in the Centre-du-Québec region,
covers an area of 267,000 square feet – the equivalent of 5 football fields.
The site can store 55 million pounds of maple syrup. That’s 94,000 barrels, each containing 45 gallons (205 litres), amounting to half of the average annual harvest of Québec maple syrup.