Vermont is to the United States what Quebec is to Canada. We share a similar colder climate and there is a vast area that consists of forests and mountains. Amongst the snowy mountains and the trees, you can find warm maple groves where maple syrup is produced with care. We often hear about the maple syrup that originates from Canada, but there is also a number of producers in the United States, principally in the state of Vermont.
Vermont is the leading producer of maple syrup in the country, their natural resources and seasonal course assure their sustainability in this area of expertise. In 2018, Vermont produced at least 1,8 millions of gallons which is equivalent to 40% of the whole American maple syrup production. Just like Canada, the production of maple syrup in Vermont is a big part of their legacy and is a family business. It goes back to even before the discovery of the continent. It is a tradition that is present throughout history since the very first people arrived to inhabit the lands of Vermont. The production of maple syrup is very unique in its ways, it is a family thing and it is made with utmost care. Vermont has a climate comparable to the one in the colder provinces of Canada, therefore, it is a favorable territory to make the famous liquid gold. The process of the production is mostly similar to the one in Canada because both countries are subscribed to comparable norms. For instance, both of the regions share the grading system that was established in 2014. This implies that no matter the origin of the product, you can expect to find the same types of flavors. The ways of production are also pretty much equivalent because there isn’t thousand different efficient ways to make a great maple syrup.
The maple syrup produced in Vermont is mostly present on the regional and local markets. There are few groves that are selling on the global market, but generally, the production is accessible on a more regional scale. This might change in the future though, because we can currently notice that Vermont maple syrup is more present than before on the worldwide market. Moreover, in Vermont, the volume of production is smaller than the one in Canada, there are less sugar shacks on the territory, thereby, the resources for the producers are fewer, indeed, there seems to be uniquely the Vermont Maple Sugar Maker’s Association. Therefore, it is harder for them to have the resources for learning new techniques or doing studies that could change the regional industry. The Vermont producers are active on a smaller scale, but they are very important in the United States, since they supply the country. Vermont maple syrup is less accessible than pure Canadian maple syrup on the worldwide market. However, they are both made with a lot of love and close to what nature has to offer.
The regulation system of maple production in Vermont varies a little. In Canada, ACER Division Inspection Inc., an independent organization, regulates and controls the quality of the maple syrup productions. They ensure that the norms are respected and that the quality is up to par in every bottle. The producers make the verifications, but ultimately it is the independent organization that decides whether the maple syrup can or can’t be sold. In Vermont, it is different because there is no independent organization that sorts the bad maple syrups from the good. The government established regulations that are clear and it is the producers that need to make sure that they respect the standards. Also, the overall regulations are less strict in Vermont.
Currently, Vermont is starting to face the harsh consequences of the climate change, as the productions located more in the south can already see a difference. Effectively, the southern regions seem to have a shorter production season of maple syrup. The quality and quantity of production doesn’t seem to be affected yet, however the production period is shorter than it was before. This phenomenon compels us to make essential reflections about our techniques of production, and the producers need to think about the ways to be as productive even if the period keeps on shortening. The Vermont northern regions don’t seem to have that problem yet, since the length of the production didn’t vary much. These regions, just like Canada, seem to be fine for now. Yet, everyone needs to think about their approach and transform towards a most sustainable movement if we want the industry to keep on thriving.