Government of Canada Invests in Innovation and Marketing for Maple Syrup Producers

18th Aug 2010

SAINT-NORBERT-D'ARTHABASKA, QUEBEC- Canadian maple syrup producers will benefit from important investments in marketing and research aimed at improving the competitiveness of the sector. The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), announced today up to $4.3 million in funding to support the Canadian maple syrup industry's efforts to create new opportunities for this pure, quality product.

"Canadians take pride in our world-famous top-quality maple syrup, and our Government is pleased to help this industry create new opportunities for marketing and testing this all natural product," said Minister Blackburn. "We know that investments in innovative projects like these benefit our producers, help them grow their businesses and give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace."

This investment will go to three projects:

    *      La Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) will receive up to $2.7 million from the AgriMarketing program to undertake international market development and export promotion activities over the next three years.
    *      FPAQ will also receive up to $1.5 million from the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative, which supports industry-led science and technology projects, to explore and promote the nutritional and therapeutic properties of maple syrup.
    *      Le Centre de recherche, de développement et de transfert technologique acéricole inc. (ACER) will receive up to $90,000 in DIAP funding to develop and evaluate an innovative maple syrup testing method using an optical spectroscopy technique considered more efficient and more precise.

"The financial aid provided to Canada's maple growing industry will enable us to pursue notable research with the world's best scientific experts in this area, including Centre Acer, on the health benefits of maple products and thereby promote Canada's emblematic product, maple syrup, as a healthy sugar around the world," said Serge Beaulieu, Board President of both the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec and ACER. "The funding will also help develop a rapid test to detect the integrity and purity of maple syrup to help authenticate this product."

Canada accounts for 85 per cent of the world's maple syrup production; over 80 per cent of the maple syrup produced is exported. The maple syrup producing provinces are Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario and Nova Scotia. In 2008, Canadian maple products were valued at $212 million, and the value is expected to increase over the next few years.

The DIAP initiative is part of a $158 million, five-year program that promotes industry-led innovation initiatives that help get new agricultural products into the marketplace and improve agricultural processes.

The federal AgriMarketing program provides funding to Canadian producer, processor and exporter associations to develop and implement long-term international strategies and undertake activities such as international market development, brand building and industry-to-industry trade advocacy.

In addition to the DIAP initiative and the AgriMarketing program, Canada's Economic Action Plan supports agriculture as a core economic driver in this country. The Government of Canada is focused on strengthening the economy today and to create and protect jobs in the future.

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