New Brunswick maple syrup producers report record year

New Brunswick produced a record 4.8-million kilograms of maple syrup in 2022. (Ingrid Munroe - image credit)
New Brunswick produced a record 4.8-million kilograms of maple syrup in 2022. (Ingrid Munroe - image credit)

After a spring filled with cool nights and warm days, sap flowed often in New Brunswick in 2022 and helped the growing maple industry post another record year.

Statistics Canada reported New Brunswick produced a record 4.8-million kilograms (810,000 gallons) of maple syrup last year, a 3.2 per cent increase from the previous year.

Louise Poitras, executive director of the N.B. Maple Syrup Association, said favourable temperatures and upgrades helped drive the season.

"Weather was perfect and producers were ready," she said. "There's a lot of investment that's been injected by the producers, machinery, technology, equipment."

New Brunswick has been the third-largest maple syrup producer in the world for the past three years, surpassing New York in 2020. New York is fourth in the 2022 rankings at 4.2-million kilograms (703,000 gallons).

Shane Fowler/CBC
Shane Fowler/CBC

Quebec, the dominant producer, also saw a record-high harvest with 94.2-million kilograms (15.9-million gallons) and accounted for 90 per cent of Canada's national production. In good years, the province is responsible for about three-quarters of global maple syrup output.

No. 2 Vermont produced about 11.9-million kilograms (two-million gallons) in 2022.

Sweet success story

New Brunswick's maple industry has experienced rapid growth in recent years, generating more than $30 million in product per year. Most of the syrup is exported to international buyers, with about 65 per cent going to the U.S.

The province has more than tripled production over the last 15 years and the province added thousands of hectares of Crown land for harvesting in 2015. Producers currently have access to 14,000 hectares of leased land, which is less than one per cent of total Crown lands.

Some have been raising concerns over logging activity on Crown land where sugar maples grow.

The industry association is awaiting a response from the province on an expansion plan, requesting an additional 12,000 hectares be made available for maple production.

Radio-Canada
Radio-Canada

New Brunswick is also reporting growing demand for "value-added products" that include maple syrup-infused food and beverages.

Poitras said the growth means producers are running out of a sufficient supply of trees to keep up with demand from buyers.

"Right now we are at a cap, because we're exploiting all of the Crown land and at this point we actually need more Crown land," she said.