Quebec Whodunit: 1/4 of Province’s Syrup Reserves Go Missing
Forget about the upcoming election in Quebec, the big news out of the province is the huge breach of the province’s strategic reserve of maple syrup.
Sticky-fingered thieves made off with almost 30 million Canadian dollars (US$30.4 million) worth of maple syrup from a reserve warehouse in rural Quebec, the provincial body responsible for managing the production of maple syrup said late Thursday. That’s more than a quarter of the province’s extra supply—stored each year to protect producers’ from the ups and downs of global supply and demand.
Late last week, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers found empty barrels that had contained some 10 million pounds of maple syrup during a routine inventory check at a facility located in St-Louis-de-Blandford, a small town about 100 miles north east of Montreal. (Though the group didn’t specify, that works out to more than 15,000 oil drum-style barrels.)
While strategic reserves are typically linked to oil and other industry-sensitive commodities, Quebec has kept a vast store of maple syrup since 2000 to be used if supply of the quintessential Canadian staple falls with poor yields, or higher-than-expected demand.