Amid the current shortages, Canada has decided to tap into its strategic reserves of maple syrup.
The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers, which is a leading trade group, announced it is releasing close to 50 million pounds from its strategic maple syrup reserves, almost half of the stockpile, Bloomberg first reported.
The government-supported organization, which is known as the OPEC of maple syrup, uses its reserves to control syrup prices and supply, CNN reported.
Since last year, Quebec has produced 73% of all maple syrup across the globe. Its biggest customer so far is the United States, which makes up nearly 60% of Canada’s export volume.
Canada’s strategic reserve was made to keep maple syrup in stock for bad harvest seasons or when there is a high demand, which is the case right now due to a hot and short spring that caused a lower yield.
“The pandemic helped in our case because we’re seeing people cook more at home and use more local products,” QMSP’s spokesperson Helene Normandin said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s not just in Quebec the demand is increasing.”
This isn’t the first time the reserve has made the news. Between 2011 and 2012, 3,000 tons of maple syrup–valued at nearly 20 million Canadian dollars–were secretly siphoned from the reserve. The notorious incident is now known as the Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist.