Who is the biggest supplier of maple syrup?

Maple syrup is a popular pancake topping and natural sweetener produced by boiling down the sap of maple trees. The maple syrup industry is concentrated in northeastern North America, with Canada and the United States being the major producers. In recent years, there has been growing interest in determining which country produces the most maple syrup and holds claim to being the largest supplier globally.

What countries produce maple syrup?

Maple syrup production is dominated by Canada and the United States. According to statistics from 2019, Canada produced 72% of the world’s maple syrup, while the United States produced 27%. The remaining 1% of global production comes from other countries with smaller maple syrup industries, such as Germany, Japan, and South Korea.

How much maple syrup does Canada produce?

In 2019, Canada produced 72% of the world’s maple syrup, which amounted to 13,889,000 gallons or 59.2 million pounds. This was an increase from 12,980,000 gallons produced in 2018. Quebec is by far the largest maple syrup producing province in Canada, accounting for over 90% of the country’s production. Vermont is the leading producer in the United States, followed by New York and Maine.

How much maple syrup does the United States produce?

In 2019, the United States produced 4,140,000 gallons or 17.5 million pounds of maple syrup. This accounted for 27% of global production. While much less than Canada, it still makes the United States the second largest maple syrup producer worldwide. Vermont is the top producing state with over 2 million gallons per year.

When did maple syrup production begin?

The practice of tapping maple trees to collect sap and boiling it down to make maple syrup and sugar first began with Indigenous peoples in North America. There is evidence that Native Americans were producing maple syrup and sugar long before Europeans arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Early European settlers adopted the production methods from Native people.

Maple syrup production was originally very labor intensive – buckets were hung on individual trees and sap was carried by hand. In the 19th century, technological innovations like tapped pipelines and evaporators increased efficiency and commercial production. Today’s large scale maple operations use tubing systems that run between trees and vacuums to collect sap.

How has maple syrup production increased over time?

Maple syrup production has steadily increased over the past century as more efficient collection and boiling methods have been developed. In 1900, the United States produced 1.4 million gallons of maple syrup. By 1970, production had grown to 5.5 million gallons and by 2000 it reached 12.2 million gallons. Canada’s production experienced similar growth, going from 500,000 gallons in 1900 to more than 13 million gallons today.

The increased efficiency of modern maple syrup operations has allowed producers to tap more trees and collect larger sap yields. The adoption of reverse-osmosis machines in the 1970s also improved syrup yields by removing water from sap before boiling. These advances have made it possible for Canada and the United States to become the dominant global suppliers.

What states produce the most maple syrup?

In the United States, the top maple syrup producing states are:

1. Vermont – 2,020,000 gallons (2019)
2. New York – 565,000 gallons (2019)
3. Maine – 560,000 gallons (2019)
4. Wisconsin – 265,000 gallons (2019)
5. Michigan – 175,000 gallons (2019)

Other significant producing states include Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Ohio, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Indiana.

What Canadian provinces produce maple syrup?

Canada’s maple syrup production comes mainly from the province of Quebec, which makes up over 90% of the country’s total. In 2019, Quebec produced 12,173,000 gallons.

Other Canadian provinces with maple syrup production include:

– Ontario – 429,000 gallons (2019)
– New Brunswick – 156,000 gallons (2019)
– Nova Scotia – 87,000 gallons (2019)
– Prince Edward Island – 14,000 gallons (2019)

Some maple syrup is also made in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia but represents less than 1% of Canada’s output.

Canada’s Dominance in Maple Syrup Production

As the statistics show, Canada is by far the dominant maple syrup producer worldwide, accounting for over 70% of the global supply. This gives Canada significant control over the international maple syrup market. Let’s look at some of the reasons why Canada has gained such a leading role in maple syrup production:

Abundant natural resources

Canada, and Quebec in particular, have ideal natural conditions for maple syrup production:

– Huge expanses of forest containing maple trees, especially the sugar maple. Quebec alone has over 167 million maple trees suitable for tapping.

– Climate with freezing nights and thawing days in early spring creates sap flow in maple trees. The maple syrup season lasts 4-8 weeks.

– Plentiful water resources needed for sap collection and syrup processing. Quebec has over 5600 maple farms situated near water bodies.

Research and technology

Canada has been on the forefront of maple syrup research and has pioneered many innovations in production:

– In the 1950s Quebec researchers discovered vacuum collection and interconnected tubing increasing sap yields.

– Research identified the sugar maple as the best tree for syrup production. Hybrid maple varieties have also been developed.

– New technologies like reverse-osmosis and gas-fired evaporators help producers efficiently process more sap into syrup.

Supportive government policies

Canadian governments, especially in Quebec, have enacted policies to support maple syrup producers:

– The Quebec Maple Syrup Producers’ Federation implements production quotas to prevent oversupply and stabilize prices.

– Government grants assist producers in acquiring new equipment and technology.

– Promotional programs market and advertise Canadian maple syrup domestically and abroad.

– Strict grading standards and labeling regulations help uphold maple syrup quality.

Organized industry structure

Canada’s maple syrup industry is structured to support and regulate sustainable production:

– Marketing boards like the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers manage bulk sales, promotion, and policies.

– Co-operatives assist small-scale producers with supplies and marketing their syrup.

– The industry collaborates on research through organizations like ACER Center for Maple Research.

Business scale

Many Canadian maple farms are larger commercial operations able to efficiently produce large syrup volumes:

– In Quebec over 70% of maple farms tap over 10,000 taps, with some over 100,000 taps.

– Larger producers invest in expensive but productive technology like reverse-osmosis and vacuum pumping.

– Farms with bigger production often bottle their own syrup for added value.

Tourism popularity

Canada’s maple farms attract tourists interested in maple syrup production:

– Many farms offer tours, dining, and maple products direct from producers.

– Quebec’s maple regions like Mont-Laurier feature guided visits to maple forests and sugar shacks.

– Festivals celebrating maple syrup like Quebec’s Festival des sucres attract visitors.

– Tourism revenue helps supplement maple operations. Maple tours connect consumers to authentic Canadian maple syrup.

The Maple Syrup Industries in Canada vs the United States

When comparing the maple syrup industries in Canada and the United States, several distinctions stand out:

Size of production

– Canada produces over 13 million gallons annually, while the US produces around 4 million gallons.

– Canada taps over 43 million maple trees compared to 12 million taps in the US.

– The province of Quebec alone out-produces all of the United States.

Number of taps

– The average maple operation in Quebec taps over 24,000 trees.

– In the US, the average is just over 1,100 taps per operation.

– Quebec has over 7,400 maple businesses compared to about 4,900 in the US.

Scale of operations

– 2/3 of Quebec’s maple farms tap more than 10,000 trees, versus 1/3 in the US.

– Quebec has around 115 industrial-scale operations tapping over 100,000 trees. The US has only a few dozen this size.

Yield per tap

– Canadian maple trees generally yield more sap per tap – averaging 2.7 gallons in Quebec versus 1.5 gallons in New England.

– This can be attributed to genetics, climate, and production methods.

Processing techniques

– More Quebec producers use advanced technologies like reverse-osmosis and oil-fired evaporators.

– Vacuum tubing is used more widely in Canada versus bucket collection still used on some US farms.

– These techniques enable Canadians to process sap into syrup more efficiently.


– About 85% of Canadian maple syrup is exported.

– The US consumes almost all of its domestic syrup production nationally.

– Canada strategically develops new export markets like Asia, Europe, and Oceania.


– Canadian maple production is governed by provincial marketing boards like Quebec’s Federation of Maple Syrup Producers.

– The US industry is not regulated to the same degree at the state or national level.

– Canada’s policies aim to support prices and manage stable, sustainable maple production.

Threats Facing the Maple Syrup Industry

Despite strong production growth over the past century, there are some threats looming for the maple syrup industry:

Climate change

– Maple syrup yield depends on specific climate conditions – such as below freezing nights and above freezing days – during maple’s 6-8 week season.

– Rising temperatures and more variable weather patterns could shorten the tapping window.

– Some regions may not get cold enough for sap to run, while sap flow could start earlier at southern taps.

Forest conservation

– Maple sap harvesting requires healthy, thriving forests. Disease, pests, and over-tapping can damage maple trees.

– Sustainable tapping practices are needed to protect maple supplies, like using spouts that don’t damage trees.

– Conservation of forested land protects maple stands. Fragmented forests have fewer remaining maple trees.


– Maple syrup must compete with cheap, mass-produced pancake syrups made with corn syrup.

– With rising prices, some consumers may switch to non-maple alternatives.

– Producers must emphasize maple syrup’s image as a high-quality, artisanal product.

Imitation products

– Fake maple syrups made with artificial flavoring and coloring can mislead consumers.

– Stricter labeling and maple syrup grading standards are needed to identify authentic, pure maple syrup.

– Canada recently changed rules to require “maple taste” or “maple flavored” labels on imitations.

Supply and demand balance

– Oversupply of maple syrup can cause prices to fall below production costs for farmers.

– Quebec uses strategic production quotas and reserves to stabilize supply and support prices.

– The US industry is more vulnerable to market fluctuations without similar policies.

Future Outlook

Looking ahead, what could the future look like for maple syrup production and Canada’s status as the world’s top maple syrup supplier?

Technology improvements

– New sap harvesting setups like tubing-free “maple tipping” could increase yields.

– Advances in reverse-osmosis efficiency can boost processing capabilities.

– Automation, data collection, and “smart” systems could help manage maple operations.

Genetic improvements

– Breeding disease-resistant maple varieties that are high sap-yielding could bolster supplies.

– Canadian researchers lead global efforts to select superior maple genetics.

– Genome sequencing helps identify maple trees with ideal sugar production traits.

Sap yeast production

– Using sap as growth medium for yeast generates solid maple ingredients for foods.

– Maple yeast can provide a value-added use for excess sap.

– It creates a new product line like maple yeast extracts.

New markets

– Continued export growth to markets like China, Japan, Britain and Australia expands sales.

– Marketing pure Canadian maple as a premium grocery item boosts food use.

– Maple water beverages create a new thirst-quenching product.

Climate adaptation

– Research on maximizing sap yields in warming weather helps farmers adapt.

– Farms expand taps northward where sap flow is increasing.

– Strategic tree planting provides future maple tapping sites.

Industry innovation

– Maple producers develop value-added offerings like tourist activities, cafes, and gift shops.

– Supporting new farmers and protecting maple land access ensures supply renewal.

– Co-op models help small-scale startups share resources for tapping into maple’s niche appeal.


In conclusion, Canada firmly holds the position as the top maple syrup producing country in the world, accounting for over 70% of the global maple syrup supply. This is attributed to Canada’s abundant natural resources, advanced production technologies, supporting government policies, and organized industry structure. Within Canada, Quebec stands out as the powerhouse maple province.

While the United States has a considerable maple syrup industry centered in the northeast, it pales in comparison to Canada in terms of total production, farm scale, yields, and processing techniques. Vermont leads American maple syrup production but produces less than Quebec alone.

Threats like climate change and competition from cheap imitation syrups will require the maple industry to continue adapting and innovating. But the future looks bright for Canada to maintain its dominance through technology improvements, product diversification, global exports, and climate resilience efforts. The allure of pure, authentic maple syrup from Canada’s forests will likely continue enticing pancake lovers around the world.

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