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How Much Does Quebec Value Its Supply of Maple Syrup?

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  • Edited By: A Kaminsky
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The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is an emergency stash of oil maintained by the U.S. Department of Energy, stored in huge underground salt caverns along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Oil-producing countries in the OPEC consortium in the Middle East also have strategic oil reserves, which often allows them to dictate oil prices around the world. In much the same way, the Canadian province of Quebec keeps around 38 million pounds of maple syrup in the Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve, stored in 62,800 barrels across three storage sites. The cache of the sticky-sweet topping, worth more than C$100 million ($78 million USD), is set aside to stabilize prices and meet global demand.

The sweet smell of success:

  • At Quebec’s Laurierville site, the syrup is protected by an elaborate security system, with motion detectors, hidden electronic access panels, and cameras everywhere. The reserve has been called "the OPEC of the maple syrup world."

  • Between 2011 and 2012, thieves spirited away 6 million pounds of syrup, worth about C$18 million ($14 million USD), from a temporary, rented warehouse. The heist was big news in Canada.

  • In 2014, Quebec produced 71 percent of the world's 160.7 million pounds of maple syrup. The provinces of Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia also produce maple syrup, but in much smaller quantities.

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