QUEBEC, Canada: Following a 24 percent drop in the amount of maple syrup produced in Canada this year, an emergency stockpile of syrup has been used to replenish stocks of syrup available in stores worldwide.
In Canada, the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, a government-sponsored cartel, controls some 70 percent the worldwide production of maple syrup.
Representing more than 11,000 Canadian maple syrup producers, the association said Canada's warmer and shorter spring led to the decrease in the production of syrup.
At the same time, demand increased as the lockdown during the Covid pandemic resulted in more people cooking at home. As a result, the association has released 50 million pounds of syrup from its reserves to restock store shelves worldwide.
Representing half of the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers' stockpile, the group also tapped its stockpiles in 2008, said officials.
Helene Normandin, spokeswoman for the Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, said the group will authorize more production of syrup in 2022, in a bid to return the market to normal.
"That's why the reserve is made, to never miss maple syrup. And we won't miss maple syrup!" she told National Public Radio.
Quebec accounts for more than 70 percent of the production of the world's maple syrup supply.
"What we can figure at this moment, is maybe the season here in Quebec will start a bit earlier in February, instead of March, and end earlier, also," Normandin added.
Canadian exports of syrup jumped 21 percent this year, reaching 113.5 million pounds between January and September of 2021.
Officials noted that collecting and refining sap into syrup is heavily reliant on weather conditions, making year-to-year supplies volatile.