- New Brunswick’s burgeoning maple industry is pleading with the provincial government for more trees to meet increased demand for its products.
- Interaction with the government has come to a halt, according to executive director Louise Poitras, and producers can no longer afford to wait.
- Commercial buyers, according to Marco Martin, are looking for higher volumes from Kedgwick-based producers.
The booming maple industry in New Brunswick is pleading with the provincial government for more trees to meet the rising demand for its products.
Around 80 people protested at Le Parc du Centenaire in Saint-Quentin, New Brunswick, near the large maple leaf sculpture. Waving signs, they urged the govt to admit their proposed expansion plan on Thursday.
The demonstration was organized by the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association, which is requesting for an additional 12,000 hectares of Crown land to be made accessible for maple syrup production.
Producers probably have access to 14,000 hectares or less than 1% of the province’s total Crown lands.
According to executive director Louise Poitras, interaction with the govt has come to a halt, and producers can no longer afford to wait.
“It’s promises, promises,” she said in an interview. “One month, two months, then two years.” “It’s now or never. We’re fed up and can’t take it any longer. We want to know what’s going on and what we can do about it.”
‘We are being ignored,’
The maple syrup industry in New Brunswick is rapidly expanding as the global demand for maple syrup products rises.
Weather conditions helped the province sell a record-breaking 4.7 million kilograms of maple syrup worth over 31 million dollars last season. Since Quebec and Vermont, now it is the world’s third-largest manufacturer.
According to Marco Martin, commercial buyers are looking for greater volumes from producers who run a business in Kedgwick.
“If we want to stay in business, we must be able to meet demand,” he explained. “Right now, we’re at a breaking point where maple product buyers are looking for other provinces,” he said.
Martin runs a medium-sized brewery with 32,000 taps and five employees. He hopes the demonstration sends the message that more Crown land is needed to keep the industry afloat.
“There’s a request for sugaries out there, and we’re being ignored,” he said.
The province refused to make anyone accessible for an interview with CBC News.
According to Nick Brown, a spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, the request for an expansion plan has been received.
“As we do with any plea,” he stated in an emailed statement, “we are evaluating it against all other land uses that are possible.” “We’re working to move this file forward, which will include counseling with First Nations and additional discussions with industry.”
Brown explained that the province authorized an additional 4,400 hectares of leased Crown land to producers in 2015.
“The departments are delighted to see that the maple syrup industry in New Brunswick continues to grow; it is clear that we are on the right track,” he wrote.
Source: Global News
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