Quebec Maple Syrup Producers launching $2M plant expansion as El Nino threat looms
Syrup producers upping storage capacity to combat turbulent weather
LAURIERVILLE, Que—Though a warmer winter is threatening to take its toll on the world’s largest maple syrup producer, Quebec’s sugarbushes are preparing to endure the difficult weather and emerge stronger through the expansion of a Laurierville, Que. storage facility.
The $2 million warehouse expansion will allow the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, an organization that represents 7,300 syrup businesses in Quebec, to greatly increase its capacity for storing the sweet, pricey commodity.
“With today’s announcement of this $2 million investment… we’ll have the capacity to respond to growing international demand for maple products and the steady increase in production,” Serge Beaulieu, president of the FPAQ, said.
The larger stockpile will offset the “significant” impact annual production swings could have on prices, Beaulieu added.
The new facility will have the capacity to store 98 million pounds of maple syrup, or enough to fill 13 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The FPAQ, which currently produces more than two-thirds of the world’s maple syrup, said the new warehouse will store the equivalent of an entire season’s harvest. It is expected to enter into service at the end of the 2016 season—in time for the first barrels of the season’s syrup.
Though Quebec’s producers face increased competition from numerous New England states, syrup exports at historic highs. To combat annual price fluctuations, the FPAQ currently houses a reserve of 62 million pounds at three different sites.