Maple syrup season is (already) here

Unseasonably warm weather isn’t just giving us a headstart on patio season, it's giving our prized maple syrup businesses a head start on their harvest.

Driving the news: Warmer temperatures have brought Canada’s maple syrup harvesting season early, with producers hoping to reach new production highs as the international demand for the golden liquid grows.

  • Production of maple syrup was down 40.1% in 2023 from the previous year, mainly because of bad weather.

Why it matters: Maple syrup growers hope to bounce back from a rough 2023, which saw global demand fall precipitously as inflation-pinched consumers swapped the real stuff for corn-based alternatives.

  • Pain in the syrup sector is felt most acutely in Quebec, which produces around 90% of Canada’s maple syrup (nearly three-quarters of the global harvest) and accounts for more than 12,000 full-time jobs, according to the province’s industry association.

Zoom out: The maple syrup industry is at something of a crossroads. At the same time as it’s catching on around the world (exports have more than roughly doubled in the past 10 years), its production is increasingly threatened by warmer winters that forecasters believe will make keeping up with demand more difficult in the decades to come.—JK