Sugar bushes: inflation and the protection of public maple trees are the topics of the season
Sugar shack owners had to raise prices on their menu to deal with inflation.
Once again this year, it is inflation that will color the sugaring off season. Some owners say they had to raise their prices to be able to maintain a profit margin. As for producers located in public forests, they are trying to protect more maple trees to meet market demand.
However, reservations are going well, according to the owner of the Boisé sugar shack, Robert Dufresne.
Same story from the co-owner of the Massicotte sugar shack, Louis Massicotte, who mentions that the rising costs do not prevent lovers of maple products from attending. According to him, a rate of $30 is still relatively reasonable for spending time with family and having a hearty meal.
Getting people to the sugar shack is more expensive, but producing and market blond gold too.
Some maple syrup producers, such as Éric Bouchard, owner of the Parcelles de Soleil sugar bush in Hérouxville, have agreed to reduce their profit margins so that their products remain accessible to consumers despite the increase in operating costs and prices.
The context is so difficult that it will be difficult for the next generation to start a business.
According to Mr. Bouchard, who is also vice-president of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, one in three new sugar bush projects may not see the light of day. The increase in the price of the equipment necessary for production would be particularly in question.
The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers are firmly awaiting a master plan from the Government of Quebec with regard to management of maple trees in the province's public forests to ensure better management of production.
Several maple producers lease portions of public forests made up of maple trees from the provincial government and are responsible for the production and maintenance of their perimeter.
However, these same public forests are also used by the forestry industry, which cuts trees there to transform maple wood into various goods such as furniture, flooring, etc.
According to data from Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, 20% of the province's maple syrup comes from public forests. This association would like this proportion to increase to 30% over the next few years to support the growth of the maple industry in Quebec and abroad, which is quite significant.
The association would therefore like a mix of uses in these forests to obtain felling and forestry prescriptions adapted to the protection of maple syrup production since certain territories are there more favorable than others.
In concrete terms, maple syrup producers would like to protect 200,000 hectares. This represents 6% of the cutting industry's needs per year, while this proportion represents the needs of maple producers over 60 years.
According to information by Charles-Antoine Boulanger
Joël Vaudeville, Director of Communications for Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, in an interview on the show En direct