LONGUEUIL, QC, March 23, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) started a new maple industry tradition in Quebec by holding an official ceremony to launch the 2017 sugar season. As the world's leading source of maple syrup, Quebec producers can count on the support of their provincial government. At FPAQ president Serge Beaulieu's invitation, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Laurent Lessard, and several MNAs from maple syrup regions got together to officially launch the 2017 sugar season by tapping a maple tree. The ceremony was held in the early afternoon at Érablière du Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, in the heart of Quebec City.
"The maple syrup industry is an integral part of our heritage in Quebec. All Quebecers should be aware and proud of it," said Serge Beaulieu, FPAQ President. "Every year, this $600 million industry contributes to the wealth and prosperity of Quebec's rural areas. It's an important industry and should be a source of pride. That's why we're starting this new tradition today! We're very pleased to have the support of our MNAs and Minister of Agriculture."
An industry with the wind at its back
2016 was a banner year for Quebec maple syrup producers, with a record 111 million-plus pounds of syrup sold, a 38% five-year increase. It should also be noted that 85% of Quebec's maple syrup production is exported to 53 different countries. Canadian maple product exports also hit a new high of 99 million pounds in 2016, an increase of 30% (23 million pounds) over 2012. These outstanding results were made possible by the efforts of Quebec's maple syrup producers, who have been investing in market research, promotion, and development since 2005 to build a global maple syrup market and get local exporters interested in new markets.
Quebec's maple syrup industry at a glance:
- 13,700 maple syrup producers, including 282 new producers
- 44 million taps
- 12 maple syrup regions
- 10,000 full-time jobs
- $600 million in value for the Quebec economy
- Only existing global strategic maple syrup reserve
- 250,000 barrels of maple syrup produced annually
- Record sales totaling 111 million pounds of maple syrup
A sugar shack with a special purpose
The Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge sugar shack opens its doors for three weekends during sugar season so guests can enjoy some maple taffy and learn the basics of maple syrup production. FPAQ has financially supported the project since 2004. The shack is operated by a team of passionate volunteers who want to breathe new life into the park's small sugar bush and authentic sugar shack dating from the early 1900s. All proceeds go to Fondation de l'école St-Michel de Québec, a school that welcomes autistic children. So far, $300,000 has been raised over 13 years.
The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers was founded in 1966 with the mission of defending and promoting the economic, social, and moral interests of 7,500 maple producers, as well as developing initiatives to collectively market maple products. The quality work of these maple producers has made Quebec the proud source of 72% of the world's maple syrup.
SOURCE Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers
For further information: Caroline Cyr, Communications Advisor, Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, 450-679-7021, ext. 8609 -- [email protected]