Québec Timber Production Strategy QUÉBEC MAPLE SYRUP PRODUCERS OUTRAGED BY ANNOUNCEMENT FROM MINISTER PIERRE DUFOUR
Longueuil, December 18, 2020 – Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) reacted with shock to the release, on December 16, of the Québec Timber Production Strategy by Pierre Dufour, Minister of the province’s department overseeing forests, wildlife, and parks, le ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP). This strategy purports to boost the economy by doubling the harvest of our forest resources by 2080. It flies in the face of sustainable economic development, such as that provided by the maple industry.
Does Québec want to remain a producer (the world’s largest) of maple syrup?
We are not alone in asking this question. L’Ordre des ingénieurs forestiers, in its communiqué, charges that MFFP is shifting our values toward short-term profitability of our forests, squandering rich and productive renewable resources to feed hungry sawmills. QMSP views this approach as a dangerous mortgaging of our hardwood forests’ future, bringing several negative consequences.
There is Nothing in the Strategy about Québec Maple
MFFP does not even mention the maple syrup industry, let alone considering its brilliant potential. No reference to maple trees or silviculture. Its real effect would be to reduce our trees to a “financial diameter” whereby they may be cut down. A maple tree is forty years old before it can be tapped to give sap for syrup. If it reaches the legal diameter before it’s ready to produce, is it right to chop this tree down?
Québec Should Reject this Strategy
QMSP is calling on MFFP to demonstrate how its approach is compatible with the principles of sustainable development. We see no effort to preserve the natural forest and mature trees, nothing that will ensure the maintenance of a high-quality, productive resource. QMSP President Serge Beaulieu says it threatens an industry that has been a hallmark of Québec’s identity for more than a hundred years and should continue to be into the future. “Half of production still undeveloped is on public land. If we do not protect this wealth, we will lose our world leadership in the field because our neighbours to the south will take it from us.”
MFFP is obliged to demonstrate how its Timber Production Strategy is expected to ensure that maple production coexists with that of wood.
Québec is the World’s Largest Producer of Maple Syrup
Québec produces 72% of the world’s maple syrup. It is in a rapid growth period, with 11 million taps added to production over the past 20 years, bringing the total to 48 million, 18% of which are on public land. Over 85% of maple products are exported. The industry accounts for some 12,000 Québec jobs and contributes $750,000,000 to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP).
About Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) and Érable du Québec
The mission of Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) is to promote the interests of Québec’s maple producers and develop the production and sales of their products to their full potential, while respecting the principles of sustainable development. We represent 11,300 producers and 7,400 enterprises whose quality work has led Québec to account for an annual average of 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply. QMSP proudly promotes the Érable du Québec brand and coordinates the marketing efforts of Canadian maple products abroad. QMSP also leads and directs the International Maple Research and Innovation Network.
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Simon Trépanier, ing.f., Executive Director
Québec Maple Syrup Producers
Director, Corporate Communications