BUSINESS

Canada Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve Theft: 720,000-Gallon Stash Found By Police

10/03/2012 11:49 EDT
AP
In this April 18, 2000 photo, maple syrup sits for sale at the Old Port market in Quebec City. Police in Quebec were following the scent of something sweet — millions of dollars' worth of maple syrup missing from a large warehouse in St. Louis-De-Blandford that stocks more than $30 million worth of the amber nectar. The theft puts a cavity-sized dent in Quebec's syrup stock, considered to be a global strategic reserve of the sweet stuff that is often used to replenish markets during disappointing seasons. Quebec produces up to 80 percent of the world's maple syrup. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jacques Boissinot)

Pancake lovers, rejoice -- Quebec’s strategic maple syrup reserve has been found.

The RCMP and Quebec provincial police have seized $30 million-worth of the sweet, sticky stuff from a processing and exporting facility in Kedgwick, New Brunswick, the Montreal Gazette reports.

Police had raided the facility last week as part of its investigation into the theft. The barrels of maple syrup had been stolen from a facility in St. Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec, about 160 kilometres from Montreal, in late August. The thieves did not take away the 16,000 barrels; rather, they appeared to have been siphoned off.

Police have not yet announced any charges.

The company that owns the New Brunswick facility where the syrup was found, S.K. Exports, told the Globe and Mail it had bought the maple syrup from a regular supplier in Quebec. A lawyer for that Quebec supplier said the company believed it had purchased the maple syrup legally.

S.K. Exports has in the past clashed with the owners of the maple syrup reserve, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, the Globe notes. The federation had sued the company, accusing it of buying maple syrup from unauthorized sources.

The news that a 720,000-gallon reserve put together by Quebec’s maple syrup farmers made headlines around the world last month, prompting observers to ask: Why does Canada have a strategic maple syrup reserve?

The answer, succinctly explained in this article at The Atlantic, is that maple syrup production is very unpredictable, varying widely from year to year. A maple syrup reserve ensures the industry has enough supply to meet demand during low-production years.

According to the federation, Quebec produces about 71 per cent of the world's maple syrup supply.

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