Bird’s Eye: Sticky fingers, indeed! We cover the theft, and the question of why Quebec has a strategic maple syrup reserve. Then Redditor Magnus_Maximus reveals to Americans some sappy truthiness about Canada and maple syrup. There’s more of his sweet humour after the link.
* Canada’s Emergency Maple Syrup Reserve Has Been Stolen The Grope and Flail
About 10 million pounds of syrup was stored at the site, at a value of more than $30-million. Anne-Marie Granger Godbout, executive director of the federation, said the organization is still trying to determine how much is missing and declined to offer an estimate. But a spokesman from the Sureté du Québec said the loss was significant.
Ms. Granger Godbout said the theft shouldn’t put the global supply of maple syrup at risk, but warned it could allow the thief to undercut legitimate producers. Quebec produces between 70 and 80 per cent of the world’s maple syrup, with the bulk of export sales taking place in the United States, according to the federation.
* Why Does Canada Have a Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve? Jordan Weissmann The Atlantic
On Friday, news broke that thieves had stolen $30 million dollars worth of Quebec’s strategic maple syrup reserves. Much as the United States keeps a stock of extra oil buried in underground salt caverns to use in case of a geopolitical emergency, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers has been managing warehouses full of surplus sweetener since 2000. The crooks seem to have made off with more than a quarter of the province’s backup supply. (I personally suspect these guys.)
Why exactly does Canada need to stockpile syrup? To find out, I called up Michael Farrell, an extension associate at Cornell University’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and an expert in all things maple.“We think of it as a little cottage industry here in the states,” he told me. “But up there [syrup is] a big industry that’s responsible for a lot of people’s livelihoods.”
This is not as big a deal as the media is making it out to be. First, it was not THE Strategic Reserve, it was a Strategic Reserve depot, and one of 33 scattered through out the country, not counting the provincial reserves, and in the case of bigger cities and towns, municipal reserves. This probably represents maybe 3-5% of the total national maple syrup reserves.
Second, the reserves are just that, reserves. They’re only needed if there were a maple syrup shortage or other dire national emergency, and neither is the case right now. In my house we have a standard 400 gallon maple syrup tank (with hot and cold syrup taps in the kitchen, bedrooms and living room), and it’s more than ¾ full right now. I called my local distribution company, and they assured my that my bi-monthly deliveries won’t be affected. Even if we missed a delivery (which isn’t going to happen), just what I have left at home will last four or five weeks easy, and longer if I ration waffles.
This is a non-story, being over hyped by the pancake lobby. You’re all tools of Big Flapjack.
smpx: Maybe on the East coast, but over here in Vancouver syrup prices have hit an all time high, even with syrup conservationists doing house-to-house inspections. There was a 30-minute line at the goodwill syrup distribution at the church, which is unprecedented. BCSyrup (our provincial distributor) just announced a 3% increase of regular subscriptions over the next 4 years, and families with more than one dogsled are expected to see a 6% increase. Liberals are going to use this as their centre policy in the next election because people are losing faith in the Maple market. Times are tough, man. We need proper reform.
Magnus_Maximus: Once the national syrup pipeline was finished, I thought you Westerners would finally stop complaining, but leave it to government mismanagement to still screw things up. Quite frankly, I think the entire system of inter-provincial syrup equalization transfers is a farce, and provinces that can’t produce enough syrup on their own should just buy it on the open market.
You’re right, reform is long overdue. Politicians campaign on a syrup for everyone ticket, 45% of Canada’s National Debt is from syrup, people still buy it on the black market and things never change. Sigh.
Tyrien: It bothers me that I cannot tell if this is sarcasm or not.
Magnus_Maximus: As a Canadian, I’m sorry that you’re bothered. Sorry.