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Maple syrup: Quebec is hurting its producers and encouraging its competitors

Montreal, March 8, 2018 – While the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) is struggling with substantial levels of unsold inventory, there has been a significant increase in Quebec’s imports of maple syrup, almost all from the United States, shows a publication launched today by the MEI.

Since the FPAQ started controlling both production and marketing, Quebec has been losing ground to its competitors. Between the start of the 2000s and today, the province has experienced the slowest growth in maple syrup production in all of North America (60%), far behind Maine (131%), New Brunswick (179%), and Vermont (254%).

“While the FPAQ comes down hard on producers that try to get free of its grip, those that are located outside the province take advantage of price stability and a free market to take market share away from Quebec,” points out Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI and the author of the publication. “Ironically, these are often producers who have left Quebec to escape the constraints imposed by the FPAQ.”

As a result, Quebec’s share of global maple syrup production went from 82% in 2003 down to 72% in 2017, whereas it had been increasing constantly since the 1970s.

“Our restrictive rules hurt Quebec maple syrup producers. Those that look to develop their business without going through the FPAQ are subject to searches, seizures, and penalties of up to several hundreds of thousands of dollars,” explains the author.

Considering that the province harvests close to 50% of its potential, compared to just 5% on the American side, it is imperative to give Quebec producers back their freedom to produce and sell their maple syrup without having to submit to the FPAQ’s dictates. Otherwise, their share of the global market will likely continue to fall.

The Viewpoint entitled “Maple Syrup: Quebec Is Hurting Its Producers and Encouraging Its Competitors” was prepared by Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. This publication is available on our website.

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The Montreal Economic Institute is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit research and educational organization. Through its studies and its conferences, the MEI stimulates debate on public policies in Quebec and across Canada by proposing wealth-creating reforms based on market mechanisms.

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Interview requests: Ariane M. Gauthier, Tel.: 514 603-8746 / Email: communications@iedm.org

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