Quebec Maple Syrup Cartel Increases Quotas To Prevent Black-Market Sales

Image courtesy of amanjo

We’ve told you before about the maple syrup cartel in Canada’s province of Quebec, to which the producers of most of the world’s supply of the sticky amber stuff belong. 72% of the world’s syrup currently comes from cartel members, and the group is about to have members increase their production, which could send maple prices plummeting.

The group, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (French acronym: FPAQ) came to our attention a few years ago when burglars stole part of their strategic reserve, which the cartel keeps on hand in case of sudden shortages.

Right now, there’s kind of the opposite going on: demand is up, but the cartel has been keeping its members’ production low for the last eight years. Meanwhile, their neighbors due south in Vermont have been increasing production, capturing more market share.

Before producers start selling the sweet stuff on the black market (amber market?) the cartel is increasing quotas, but it may already be too late. The cartel’s hold on farmers may be starting to, um, evaporate.

“If we allow producers to add more taps or at sell inside here, they will not be interested in selling on the black market,” the federation’s hopeful executive director told Bloomberg.

The problem with that prediction is that while Quebec’s producers have kept their output low and the Federation has acted as a sales agency, states like New York and New Hampshire have increased their farm output and taken market share that Quebec may be unable to get back.
Maple Syrup Cartel Battles a Black Market Rebellion [Bloomberg]

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