Spring is just around the corner and as daytime temperatures continue to rise, so too has the anticipation for Québec’s annual sugaring season. For roughly 11,300 maple producers in the province, harvesting officially commenced this week, and if last year’s numbers are any indication, the 2021 season will surely be one to remember.
Québec accounted for approximately 73 per cent of the world’s maple syrup supply in 2020–an increase of 14 per cent in total sales compared to the previous season–and the industry also saw an additional 22 per cent boost in international exports.
Each year, maple production contributes around $800 million toward Canada’s Gross Domestic Product, while the industry itself accounts for close to 10,500 jobs in the province’s 12 main producing regions.
"All winter, our people have been out in the forest tapping their maple trees. That's about 50 million taps hand-placed by the men, women, and families who make up Québec's 7,400 maple enterprises,” says Quebec Maple Syrup Producers president Serge Beaulieu. “We're all set for the 2021 season with high hopes for a bountiful harvest!"
Although Québec’s maple industry did feel the effects of the pandemic to some extent, it was able to supplement some of the losses caused by widespread closures thanks to a collaborative takeout campaign designed to make the province’s sugar shacks products more accessible.
Canadians can also seek out various maple producers from throughout the region using this online search tool.