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Old 12-25-2012, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

Over a one-year period during 2011 and 2012, some 6 million gallons of maple syrup – about $18 million worth – was stolen from the “strategic maple syrup reserve” controlled by the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ). The cartel’s syrup was taken from a Saint-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, which some clever thieves had access to because they just so happened to be renting another section of the same storage facility. Last week, three men were arrested in connection with the heist.

It may seem bizarre that Canada has a maple syrup cartel at all. But think of it this way: Quebec, which produces about 77% of the world’s maple syrup, is the Saudi Arabia of the sweet, sticky stuff, and the FPAQ is its OPEC. The stated goal of the cartel, in this case, is keeping prices relatively stable.

The problem with maple syrup is that the natural supply of it varies dramatically from year to year. “It’s highly dependent on the weather,” explains Pascal Theriault, an agricultural economist at the McGill University in Montreal.

“The maple trees need optimal climate conditions – cold nights, temperate days – to produce the right sap,” explained a recent article in The Washington Post. “That doesn’t always happen, and production varies sharply each spring.”

Demand is also irregular, added the Post: “During recessions, many families cut way back on syrup purchases, since it’s not exactly essential.”

So since 1989, the FPAQ has modulated supply to keep prices stable, setting aside maple syrup in good years and releasing it in bad ones. Theriault says relatively little maple syrup was produced from 2005 through 2008. But from 2009 through 2012, the syrup flowed fast and sweet, filling warehouse with reserves and setting the stage for the maple syrup heist.

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Old 12-26-2012, 08:18 AM   #2 (permalink)

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Re: Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

Why wouldn't they?
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:19 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

Seems pretty obvious from the article.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

So maybe the article should be titled "Why Canada has a maple syrup cartel" instead of "why does it..."

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Old 12-26-2012, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Why Does Canada Have a Maple Syrup Cartel?

That article made me feel like America should have more cartels to protect pricing on seasonal goods.
But that's just me.

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