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Quebec maple syrup producers and buyers sign sale agreement for 2017-2018

Published 04 January 2017

The Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers and Conseil de l'industrie de l'érable, representing maple syrup buyers have signed an agreement on the conditions for sale and marketing of bulk maple syrup for 2017-2018 marketing seasons.

It took multiple rounds of negotiations to nail down the terms of the agreement. Régie des marchés agricoles et alimentaires du Québec (RMAAQ) will not have to arbitrate the 2017 agreement—good news for the industry as a whole. The parties have submitted the agreement for approval by RMAAQ.

Maple syrup prices remain the same under the final agreement. However classification will now be based on four grades instead of the previous five (AA, A, B, C, D) to align with new federal and provincial classifications.

If approved by RMAAQ, 2017 prices will be as follows: Golden $2.95, Amber $2.94, Dark $2.85, and Very Dark $2.55. The price of syrups classified as Canada Processing Grade will remain$1.80. The premium for certified organic maple syrup has increased from $0.175/pound to $0.18/pound.
Both CIE and the Federation have expressed satisfaction with the agreement.

Federation president Serge Beaulieu said: "We are pleased to have been able to find common ground relatively quickly. It speaks to our industry knowledge and growing mutual trust."

With the new agreement in place, industry stakeholders will know what to expect from market conditions, which won't be tied to the size of the upcoming harvest.

CIE president Eliott Levasseur said: "Both sides had to compromise to reach an agreement. The industry can now focus on expanding markets and increasing sales."

The last time the Federation and CIE came before RMAAQ for arbitration was in 2012. The parties have managed to come to a price agreement every year since.

The marketing agreement must be negotiated every two years and approved by RMAAQ.

The agreement is an opportunity for bulk producers and buyers to come to terms on different aspects of maple syrup marketing and sales, including:

Minimum prices

Definition of an authorized buyer and requirements for becoming one

Quality and grade verification

Payment terms

Maple syrup and maple water storage and handling

Barrel management (returns, quality)

Requirements for use of industrial grade syrup

Source: Company Press Release