Agriculture in Quebec
In 2004, Quebec counted some 43,401 agricultural producers working in approximately 32,000 agricultural businesses. These businesses provide jobs to 57,900 people (in 2003) and sell 6.32 billion dollars in products. Agriculture constitutes the largest business in the primary sector in Quebec, from both an economic and an employment standpoint.
Quebec maple producers are far and away the main producers of maple syrup in Canada and the world, with 71% of world production (in 2004). According to estimates, 51% of Quebec's maple groves count 3,000 or fewer taps, 12% count 10,000 or more, and only 1% count more than 30,000. The Canadian provinces that produce maple syrup are Quebec (90.7% of domestic production), followed by Ontario (4.4%), New Brunswick (4.4%) and Nova Scotia (0.5%). Prince Edward Island also produces maple syrup, but in small quantities.
Economic Importance of the Maple Industry
Nearly 85% of Quebec's annual maple production is sold in bulk to processing companies or to buyers and exporters who redistribute maple products in bulk or prepackaged form. These products can be sold to grocery stores, supermarkets or gift shops, on both the domestic and international markets. In 2007, the value of the maple syrup crop was estimated at $136 M. An interesting note is that maple product exports increased 10% in 2006 and 13% in 2007.
Maple Syrup Around the World
Quebec is the largest exporter of maple products in Canada and the world, counting 96% (Quebec: $207.9 M; Canada: $217.5 M) of total Canadian sales abroad in 2007. That same year, maple products were sold in 48 countries. By order of importance, the largest importers of maple products are the United States, Germany and Japan.