Sticky Situation: $30 Million in Maple Syrup Stolen from Canada’s Strategic Syrup Reserve

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Lew Robertson / Getty Images

First of all, it’s important to note — and briefly dwell on — the fact that Canada is home to a vast maple-syrup reserve. You know, kind of like what the U.S. does with oil in the event of a major domestic or international catastrophe.

Drizzled throughout a few rural Quebec facilities, the emergency syrup supply previously contained 37 million lb. of the stuff. But that surplus has been significantly depleted after thieves took off with more than a quarter of it, the Wall Street Journal reported. During a routine inventory check at a warehouse about 100 miles northeast of Montreal, the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers noticed scores of empty barrels. These barrels — more than 15,000 of them — had contained an estimated 10 million lb. of syrup worth more than $30 million.

(MORE: Syrup Shortage: Warm Weather Has Led to “Yucky” Maple Syrup)

Quebec, which produces an estimated 75% of the world’s maple syrup, has maintained the cache since 2000, as a bulwark against poor harvests or unexpectedly high demand. The St.-Louis-de-Blandford warehouse, the location of the heist, is secured with fences and locks, officials from the federation told the Journal. The other facilities housing the syrup reserves have not been targeted, and the theft is still under investigation. Current theories suggest that the stolen goods will be sold on the black market.

Though 10 million lb. might seem like quite a bit of syrup to vanish, the federation said there would be no immediate effects on the global supply. Still, it looks like there really is a need for emergency syrup reserves after all. Who’s laughing now?

MORE: A Brief History of Maple Syrup 

6 comments
Jerry Wiggins II
Jerry Wiggins II

is there a black market in maple syrup? really? what catastrophic syrup shortage are they preparing for? how strategic is it really? who is suddenly going to want that much syrup that they have to set up warehouses of the stuff? and my final comment: maybe the thieves just really like pancakes.

Egger
Egger

A large gasoline tanker truck holds about 9,000 gallons or about 200 barrels at 44 gallons per barrel.  So no one noticed that there were at least 75 tanker truck visits to a reserve storage facility that should see transfers only during market emergencies?  Hmmm.  An inside job, maybe?

Matthew Johnson
Matthew Johnson

I'm not sure which I find more amusing: that a 'strategic' reserve is so poorly monitored that millions could be stolen before anyone notices, or that they have a 'strategic reserve' of maple syrup in the first place.

tma_sierrahills
tma_sierrahills

Suspiciously, the day after the maple syrup heist the International House of Pancakes began advertising: "And now offering five times as much syrup while the barrels last!"