The U.S. Has Fort Knox, Canada Has A Giant Maple Syrup Reserve & We Got A Look Inside
Is this our greatest contribution to the world?
The U.S. has its gold stockpile at Fort Knox. Quebec has its maple syrup reserve in Laurierville. The massive, 267,000 square-foot warehouse in the small Centre-du-Québec town housed 100 million pounds of liquid brown gold at the beginning of 2021.
Narcity and MTL Blog's Alex Melki got a tour of the Laurierville site and its tall rows of 45-gallon syrup barrels.
The maple syrup industry taps the supply when global demand outpaces the harvest in any given season. Such is the case this year.
In November, the association of Québec Maple Syrup Producers (QMSP) put out a statement to calm fears of an impending syrup shortage.
"QMSP established its strategic maple syrup reserve in 2000 to respond to this exact situation," it said in the statement.
"When production exceeds demand (as was the case in the two previous years), the surplus maple syrup is warehoused. Conversely, when the harvest is weaker than current demand (such as this year), the syrup stockpile is offered for sale to buyers."
2019 and 2020 were record years for syrup production. Warmer temperatures in Quebec at the beginning of 2021, by contrast, resulted in a shorter harvest season and about 42 million fewer pounds of maple syrup compared to 2020, according to the QMSP.
But association president Serge Beaulieu assured that the reserve "has the capacity to respond to the industry’s needs for conventional maple syrup in the short and medium terms."
The association estimates that by the beginning of 2022, the Laurierville warehouse will have just under half of the 100 million pound bounty it had in 2021.