Que. maple development work funded

Maple syrup producers in Quebec will be able to tap into two federal funds to back market and product development work.

The Federation des producteurs acericoles du Quebec (FPAQ) will receive up to $651,513, Christian Paradis, the federal secretary of state for agriculture, announced Thursday at Plessisville, about 80 km southeast of Trois-Rivieres.

Up to $545,000 will flow through the Canadian Agriculture and Food International program to help the Federation build export markets for maple products, particularly in Japan, the U.S. and the UK, the government said.

Another $106,513 has been allotted to FPAQ from the federal Agri-Innovation Program so it can continue putting in place its innovation strategy, Nouvelle generation de l’erable 2020.

Among FPAQ’s plans are to develop a “symbiotic” maple beverage, quantify the polyphenols found in maple syrup, develop a data sheet on the health benefits of maple products, conduct a market study to determine priority sectors and organize a forum to show these research results to the industry.

Researchers in several countries are working on “symbiotic” beverages made from other crops. Such beverages would include both probiotics and prebiotics, benefiting the consumer by setting up conditions for beneficial microbial supplements to function and survive in the digestive system.

According to the government’s press release Thursday, the Canadian maple products industry now includes 8,538 maple businesses, of which it said 99 per cent are small- to medium-sized companies.

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