More on that Quebec Maple Syrup heist

The strategic maple syrup reserve in St-Louis-de-Blandford, Quebec. Photo: Simon Trepanier

NCPR’s David Sommerstein already brought you the story of Quebec’s Strategic reserve of Maple Syrup. Reports of a major theft of syrup from a warehouse connected to that reserve were mentioned in an In Box post early this September.

In further developments, media reports suggest some of the hot syrup may have turned up in an exporter’s warehouse in New Brunswick. (One has to wonder, how anyone can really tell stolen syrup from the honest kind?)

It’s quirky enough to get picked up by all sorts of news services. Martha Foley tells me NPR mentioned it in a recent newscast. (Sorry, but I can’t link to those ephemeral hourly segments.)

The Wall Street Journal reported on the possible find. Speaking with Anne-Marie Granger Godbout (executive director of the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers) the WSJ report says:

 …Quebec police have begun to deliver about 500,000 pounds of maple syrup found at a warehouse in New Brunswick. She said 16 cargo trucks left the New Brunswick facility, under police escort. The maple syrup will be tested to confirm it is part of the missing stock.

Ms. Granger Godbout said that there was still about five million to six million pounds of maple syrup unaccounted for. She said the federation thinks it is unlikely that all of the missing syrup will be recovered, but hopes that Wednesday’s seizure may help identify what she described as a “network” that pulled off the heist.

“It’s not just a gang of teenagers [who] have a beer and want to rob a warehouse,” she said.


The Globe and Mail has a more detailed account. It’s far less funny.

It should be stated that this is an on-going investigation. People and companies mentioned in the articles have not even been charged with anything. To date, those interviewed assert they came by their merchandise honesty, through trusted sources. The Montreal Gazette states that no arrests had been made as of press time Oct 3rd.

But sticky allegations have emerged. Turf wars, basically. Who may buy from whom and what might happen if one bucks the system.

It’s possible this is a larger topic than a simple case of who swiped the syrup.

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8 Comments on “More on that Quebec Maple Syrup heist”

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  1. Paul says:

    Just knowing that we have the reserve will make me sleep better this weekend.

  2. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    We don’t have it; Canada has it. We must escalate!

  3. Walker says:

    For the record, those millions of pounds of syrup, would amount to about 750,000 gallons. Pounds seems like an odd measure to use. Anyone ever buy a pound of maple syrup?

  4. Paul says:

    Walker, they must measure it like milk? Knuck, do you think that the CIA could have been behind the heist? We better get on it. I made maple syrup when I was a kid tapping trees behind my house in Saranac Lake, what a production! There must be a better way to get the water out of there than boiling it. Seems like you need to burn more trees than you tap!

  5. Walker says:

    Yeah, Paul, that’s weird, isn’t it. Why do they measure milk in pounds?

    Seems especially weird if you consider that the butterfat is the lightest component of the milk, but also the most valuable. So richer milk weighs less per gallon than thinner milk.

    How many miles per pound does your car get?

  6. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    My guess is that liquids are measured by weight because not very long ago – a couple hundred years or even less – it was difficult to find consistent pails, cans, barrels to measure an equal volume. It would be pretty easy for a tin knocker to make up a pail that measured slightly more or slightly less than a gallon. But weight measures were already long in use and could be quickly verified for accuracy.

    It used to be that in predominantly English areas most stuff was measured by weight and often the weight was in “hundredweights” which we still retain in measuring milk. The funny thing about hundred weights was that there were different hundred weights for different commodities or depending on where you lived.

    Wikipedia gives a brief explanation but I’ve heard of 116#, 114#, 112#, 108# and 100# cwt. According to lore pig iron was weighed at one hundredweight at the foundry and a different hundredweight after it was cast into a finished object to account for the weight of sand that clung to the rough iron pig. Wrought iron was a different hundredweight.

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Paul, I think it is likely that the CIA is involved through their front-group (get ready) – IHOP.

    Yes, that is right, the International House of Pancakes. As everyone knows most restaurants use all American CORN SYRUP with maple flavoring for pancake syrup. Where is most Maple Syrup made? Quebec. And Quebec is, after all, the Afghanistan of North America – an occupied nation. Predominantly French but held hostage by the Imperialist English.

    I suspect the Quebecois were preparing a massive dump of REAL MAPLE SYRUP on the world market to drive down the price of corn syrup and throw our financial markets into turmoil. The CIA struck a quick and decisive blow against international criminal conspiracy. Thank God it wasn’t a Molasses Reserve or our brave agents might have been caught.

  8. Adk Fred says:

    I think Romney took the maple syrup and sold it to China thus creating a need for maple flavored corn syrup to (a) sell to the Canadian, (b) make money for Bain Capital which has a corner on the corn syrup market, (c) and charge Obama for being soft on China

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