Canadian Underwriter

Friday claim story: Where did all the maple syrup go?

August 31, 2012   by Daryl Angier

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maple_syrup_treeOnly in Canada, you say? An incident of commercial theft has been uncovered in Quebec that is sure to cause concern among pancake lovers everywhere.

Following a routine inventory check, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers discovered that a large quantity of maple syrup held temporarily in the St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse had gone missing. An investigation has been placed with the Surete du Quebec (SQ) which immediately secured and began to monitor the area.

Read: Insurance for maple syrup producers

According to an August 30 press release, the Federation is currently evaluating the scope of the situation in collaboration with the SQ and an external auditing firm. The empty barrels found on site suggest that their contents had been emptied into other containers in view of illegal distribution. In total, the burglarized warehouse held over 10 million pounds of maple syrup amounting to over 30 million dollars in value.

“The Federation always acts with caution to protect producers’ harvests. The St-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse had been secured by a fence and locks, and visited regularly,” said Mr. Serge Beaulieu, the president of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers. “The sales agency`s maple syrup inventory is spread across several storage locations which were not subject to theft,” noting that its entire maple syrup inventories are fully insured.

Bitter Harvest
While several American states and Eastern Ontario saw a very low harvest during the 2012 season largely due to a spring heat wave, the Quebec harvest remained normal. The extremely hot dry summer this year has also caused concern about next year’s sap harvest.

Read: Cities must lead fight against climate change

Quebec is responsible for between 70-80% of the world`s production of maple syrup, and two-thirds of the Canadian production exported to the United States, says the Federation. The Federation`s maple syrup inventories supply markets during periods of weaker harvests and can, therefore, be considered a “global strategic reserve.”

The Federation represents some 10,000 maple syrup producers from within Quebec, and is responsible for the administration of the bulk maple syrup sales agency as well as the global strategic maple syrup reserve.

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This story was originally published by Canadian Insurance Top Broker.