Canada's Trick To Avoiding Maple Syrup Shortages

This has been a really good year for maple syrup sales. According to CNN, though the actual production of maple syrup in Quebec was just average in 2021, sales went up an impressive 21% worldwide. It seems people baking at home more during the pandemic not only put a strain on the supply of ingredients like yeast and flour but also on maple syrup. So, what's a country to do when production of one of its most famous exports falls short?

If you're thinking Canada should just manufacture something that tastes similar, then Jacques Cartier may have just rolled over in his grave. After all, Cartier was the first explorer to discover the sugar maple tree and its sweet sap, according to Producteurs et Productices Acéricoles de Québec (PPAQ), the website of the Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP). Luckily, the QMSP has something way more authentic up its sleeve, and the group thought it up long before we were stuck at home using maple syrup to make banana bread.

Canada has a reserve of maple syrup

Quebec is responsible for more than just a trickle of our syrup. According to NPR, the Canadian province contributes almost 70% of the global maple syrup supply. It turns out weather can be a big deterrent to maple syrup production, and that's why the QMSP created the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve in 2000 (via PPAQ). According to the organization, in years past when the weather was favorable and Quebec produced more syrup than they sold, the province was able to stockpile the coveted sweetener.

This, however, was one year when the weather wasn't cooperative, and low amounts of maple syrup were produced, according to NPR. So, the reserve will come into play just like Helene Normandin, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers' communications director, pointed out, "That's why the reserve is made, to never miss maple syrup. And we won't miss maple syrup!" Roughly half of the reserves — or a staggering 50 million pounds of maple syrup — that had been stored will be used to combat the shortage. Whether you like syrup on your waffles, in your salads, or on your spaghetti (like Buddy the Elf), this is particularly sweet news!