A Sticky Situation

The Maple Syrup Heist

The United States has a strategic petroleum reserve maintained by the US Department of Energy. It contains millions of liters of oil in order to prevent an oil shortage during unstable times. We don’t have such a thing in Canada. πŸ™ but we do have something called a strategic maple syrup reserve :D, managed by the syrup federation of Quebec, who else. Our reserve which contains millions of liters of syrup ensures the industry has enough supply to meet demand during a year of low syrup production. According to the federation, Quebec produces about 71% of the world’s maple syrup supply. Don’t mess with Canada. We’ll sweeten you to death. πŸ˜›

It might seem like a sappy thing to have, but our syrup reserve is serious business. A barrel of oil is only worth $100 now. But a barrel of maple syrup is worth $1,800. This sticky stuff is like liquid gold.Β  And with about 10,000 people employed in the syrup industry, it’s an important part of our economy.

13_01_maple_syrupBut between August 2011 and July 2012, thieves made off with 9,600 barrels of maple syrup valued at $18 million, from a warehouse belonging to the syrup federation. The security people doing routine checks of the warehouses must have been real saps. How could it take them so long to realize they were being pilfered. Once the news got out, more than 40 search warrants were executed in New Brunswick, Ontario and in the United States. Thankfully the police managed to catch a handful of the sticky fingered culprits and recover most of the stolen maple syrup.


Not all were caught

So far 18 people have been arrested. One of them used to be a financial adviser. Maybe he should have just stuck to his day job. I hope the charges of theft and fraud will stick for these criminals because that’s what they deserve for trying to steal our national treasure.

But some of the stolen goods may have already made it onto the streets. I you see any sketchy guys in long coats hustling maple syrup, make sure you report it to the maple syrup of federation of Quebec. πŸ˜‰



Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank
01/14/2013 4:15 am

How does someone find out this much information about maple syrup?

Jessie's Money
01/15/2013 8:59 am

wow! I hadn’t heard about this at all, and I’m Canadian. Fascinating stuff.

01/14/2013 5:18 am

It’s amazing the stuff that people will buy truckloads of. I’ve heard that laundry detergent theft is becoming increasingly common, too!

John S @ Frugal Rules
01/14/2013 8:30 am

I remember reading about this and thought it must’ve been a joke. Glad they’ve been able to make some arrests. That’s higher than the price of gold!

01/14/2013 11:57 am

Would that not be called Ocean’s 18, since 18 implcated??? Or maybe better yet lets call it “The Golden 18”? I hope you know a good producer, I’m sure it would get great viewership in Canada – Cheers.

01/14/2013 2:53 pm

This remind me of the 1630’s tulip bulb bubble.

Just why is the price so high? Is there really no other source of sticky sweet stuff? Or is it some protection racket? Can the maple trees not be grown somewhere else? Perhaps we should start making it here in the Ol’ Country and brand it within the EU (if we are still in that!).

After all, what can you do with maple syrup other than eat it on pancakes etc. up your cholesterol and keep your dentist in work and hysterics?

Sorry our Canadian friends – maple syrup is way too sweet for my taste!


01/16/2013 7:25 am

I actually find icewine too cloyingly sweet now that I’m older, and I’ve been diligently cutting down on sugar.

I prefer Gewurtztraminer from France (Alsace) as a less sweet, slightly more refined version of icewine.

That said, Canadian icewine IS said to be the best.. it wasn’t too bad to make foie gras with.

01/14/2013 4:55 pm

Very cute post!!! I love syrup and I wish we had some reserves too. Maybe they are hiding it in Vermont under all the snow!

01/15/2013 4:24 am

I LOVE maple anything- syrup, candy, etc. I absolutely love it! That is insane that people are stealing it though. WTH?

TacklingOurDebt (@TacklingOurDebt)
TacklingOurDebt (@TacklingOurDebt)
01/15/2013 9:35 am

Cute post! I had no idea maple syrup was that high in value, but then I should have based on the price it sells for in grocery stores for a small bottle. It is so good though!!

01/16/2013 7:27 am

We WILL sweeten you to death.

I knew about the maple syrup business, having lived in Montreal for a while now (few years). They take their maple syrup here seriously, and I can taste the difference between good and bad syrup.

It’s a national identity thing and most associated with Canada, just as how I look at the U.S. and see eagles.

Maple syrup, polar bears, beavers, icewine, beer, hockey, maple-anything.. that’s Canada. That’s why we have the maple leaf in our flag.

01/16/2013 6:30 pm

That’s awesome! I read about this when it happened. I would NEVER turn in these thieves, though, if I could get maple syrup cheaper. I love maple syrup, and that stuff’s expensive!