The puzzle is how the culprits managed to siphon off almost C$30 million ($30.4 million) of syrup. That’s the equivalent of 10 million pounds or roughly 15,000 barrels of syrup. And the stock didn’t vanish somewhere in the supply chain of a major city. It’s missing from a warehouse in Saint-Louis-de-Blandford, a tiny town of 903 people, according to the 2011 Census. They’re usually more focused on cranberries, whether it’s harvesting them or celebrating them in cranberry festivals.
So imagine the surprise when a “routine inventory check,” as the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers (FPAQ) calls it, revealed evidence of a massive heist. Row after row of barrels were empty, filled with nothing but sweet-smelling Quebec air.
Now it’s the federation that has some explaining to do. These are the protectors of the sap, the maple barons who have an OPEC-like sway in syrup circles and represent some 13,500 producers. Along with handling bulk syrup sales and marketing, the federation is responsible for what it calls the “global strategic maple syrup reserves.” Much like oil reserves, those backup supplies are supposed to protect against the vagaries of bad weather and volatile prices. Last week, everyone thought Quebec was heading into the winter with 37 million pounds in reserve. More than a quarter of that is now gone.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
This could be one sweet heist movie
Maple syrup heist in Quebec. [Link]