November 8, 2012, Ottawa: The Government of Canada is proposing to amend the Maple Products Regulations to provide greater consumer confidence in the safety and purity of maple syrup and to enhance export opportunities for Canadian maple producers.
“Nothing is more Canadian than maple syrup,” said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. “Canada is the world leader in maple syrup production, with over 80% of the world’s maple syrup exports. These proposed changes will help strengthen our maple producers’ position on the world stage.”
Last spring, the Senate passed a motion which called upon the Government of Canada to modernize and standardize the Maple Products Regulations. Today, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is launching a public consultation on the CFIA website regarding the regulatory changes. Stakeholders, including members of the maple industry and consumers, will have the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to Canada’s Maple Products Regulations until December 7, 2012.
“I’m pleased to have helped pass a motion in the Senate which will help strengthen Canada’s maple industry,” said Senator Nancy Greene Raine. “Not only will these amendments provide maple producers greater freedom to market their products internationally, they will make it easier for Canadian consumers to purchase the syrup they prefer.”
The proposed changes will standardize maple syrup grade standards, classification systems and labelling requirements. Revised regulations would bring consistency to the maple industry nationally and internationally by providing a uniform definition of what constitutes maple syrup. Additionally, the proposed regulations introduce new requirements for two grades of maple syrup: Grade A, for sale at retail, and Processing Grade, for use in food processing. This would provide consistency to industry and eliminate confusion for consumers.
Amending the Maple Products Regulations would also make it easier for consumers to choose their preferred syrup. In order to be sold at retail, Grade A maple syrup would require a label categorizing the product as one of four different maple syrup colour and taste classes, and identifying the country or province of origin. Furthermore, the proposal to remove restrictions on the size and shape of maple product containers would give consumers more selection when making their purchases.
The proposed changes also include the addition of mandatory lot codes to improve producers’ ability to quickly identify, respond to and advise the CFIA of potentially unsafe maple products. This step is one of many the Government of Canada is taking to enhance the safety of the food supply.