The Québec Federation of Maple Syrup - An outstanding year!



    LONGUEUIL, QC, March 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Fédération des producteurs
acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) is proud to announce, for 2006, a 10% sales
increase in Québec and 11% in export markets, as well as a 37% drop in
inventory for the last two years: 13 million pounds in 2006 and
8.2 million pounds in 2005. Finally, between 1995 and 2006, annual farm
production went from 86.4 to 147.5 million dollars; an increase from 45 to
68.6 million pounds.
    More good news, in September 2006, the FPAQ and maple syrup buyers
reached a historical agreement and settled on market conditions for the 2007
and 2008 harvests. According to FPAQ's president Mr. Pierre Lemieux: "This
agreement is a sign of a positive shift in business relations within the maple
syrup industry. We can feel a commitment towards collaboration that will allow
time, energy and resources to be invested in the right places, namely, among
others, towards quality improvement and marketplace expansion."
    This year also marks a turning point in the history of maple syrup
production. Last November, the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the judgments
of the Court of Appeal and Superior Court for dissolution of The Regroupement
pour la commercialisation des produits de l'érable (RCPEQ) and to liquidate
its assets in favour of the Federation. Following this judgment and in order
to honour its commitments with producers, the FPAQ will distribute
12 million dollars to more than 5000 maple syrup producers having delivered
maple syrup to the Federation's sales agency between 1990 and 1991. According
to Mr. Pierre Lemieux: "This judgment finally turns the page after trying
times lived in 1990 by producers who attempted to implement the first
marketing organizational tools for maple syrup products in Québec."
    In matters of promotions and market developments, producers have invested
up to 6 million dollars of their own capital in Québec and abroad since 2003.
This allowed for, among other things, the realisation of important sales
campaigns in Québec since 2003 and in Japan since 2005. The financial
contributions of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on export markets promotions
enabled the FPAQ to double its efforts on such markets since 2005, with
investments totalling more than 2.5 million dollars in three years.
Additionally, in order to complete their generic promotional efforts with
activities on selling grounds, namely in grocery stores, the FPAQ designed the
"Export Partnering Program" and made it available to wrappers and
transformers.
    This program, supported by the Financière agricole du Québec, enabled
exporters and importers to realise more than 2.6 million dollars' worth of non
generic promotional activities on selling grounds. Finally, the FPAQ
orchestrated, in partnership with the industry, a promotion and development
strategy for international markets for the years 2006 to 2008.
    "From now on, producers are negotiating their marketing conditions on
equal terms, and with mutual respect, with maple syrup buyers. Collectively,
producers control their inventories. They are focusing their efforts towards
the development of the Quebec and international markets. Quebec's maple sugar
producers are proud to offer quality products and to rely on an efficient
marketing system which stimulates the development of innovative products for
both local consumers and those from over 30 countries in the world," concluded
Mr. Pierre Lemieux.

    Founded in 1966, the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec's
mission is to develop the economic, social and ethical interests of its 7,300
member companies. It represents men and women who have chosen to work together
by adopting a collective marketing approach for their product. The Fédération
leads efforts in promotion and market development to improve the
competitiveness of maple products in national and international markets.




For further information:

For further information: and source: Anne-Marie Granger-Godbout,
Assistant Secretary General, Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec,
(450) 679-7021, amgg@upa.qc.ca

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Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers

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