Canadian Maple Syrup

Pure Liquid Gold

Every spring in Eastern Canada, as the snow begins to melt and animals stir from their winter slumber, the eagerly anticipated maple sugaring season begins. Canada produces 85 percent of the world's maple syrup. With forests brimming with majestic red, black and sugar maples, the country has just the right mix of cold spring nights and warm daytime temperatures to produce an abundance of the clear-coloured sap used to make maple syrup.

Canada's maple syrup producing regions are located in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Maple syrup has long been part of Canada's cultural fabric. The country's Aboriginal peoples taught the early settlers how to harvest sap and boil it to make maple syrup. Maple sugar was the first kind of sugar produced in eastern North America and remained the standard sweetener until 1875, when cane sugar became available.

Now enjoyed in 45 countries around the world, Canadian maple syrup products range from traditional maple syrup to maple sugar, maple butter, maple candy and a full range of products containing maple syrup, such as cereals, yoghurts and more.

Nurturing nature

Quality maple sugar production is a source of great pride for Canadians – a true connection to nature. As maple trees grow, they accumulate starch, which converts into sugar during the spring thaw and mixes with the water absorbed through tree roots. Maple sap contains about 97 percent water, plus minerals, organic acids and maple taste precursors. It takes 40 litres of sap to make one litre of syrup.

Canada's maple syrup producers take great care to ensure the long term survival of their maple sugar bushes. They collect only enough sap for one to 1.5 litres of syrup from each tree – or less than one-tenth of the tree's sugar. Collecting too much sap would rob trees of nourishment. Canada's producers are committed to safeguarding the health and longevity of their trees.

World-class expertise

Historically, sap was collected in buckets and then poured into a large gathering tank that was pulled by a team of horses or a tractor to the evaporator house. In the early 1970s, the industry was reborn when scientists developed new gathering and production methods. Today, producers use tubing systems, reverse osmosis and high-performance evaporators, all of which have made the industry significantly more efficient. In fact, Canada boasts some of the most innovative systems in maple production in the world.

The safety and quality of Canadian maple syrup is monitored by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), which ensures producers meet high federal standards. The CFIA is also responsible for the federal classification of maple syrup within the following categories:

  • Canada No. 1 (extra light, light, medium)
  • Canada No. 2 (amber)
  • Canada No. 3 (dark)

Taste the Canadian difference

Although delicious and sweet on its own, maple syrup has evolved beyond the traditional pancake and waffle markets and can now be found in value-added products as a natural flavouring. The industry continues to innovate by introducing fruit-flavoured maple syrups, maple syrup and liqueur blends, organic products and leading-edge packaging.

Any wonder why the maple leaf figures prominently on Canada's national flag? For further information on Canada's maple syrup industry, Canadian capabilities and exported products, please visit:

Government websites

Industry websites


Trade Statistics

The following tables represent Canada's total trade in a given export commodity based on Statistics Canada data. The product categories represent HS code groupings and have not been modified. In most cases, statistics have been presented at the 6 or 8 digit level. Statistics are presented in Canadian dollars and are complete through year end 2010.

Canada's Exports to All Countries (HS Code 170220) - ($CAD)
  2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
Maple sugar and maple syrup 217,629,424 233,738,849 252,721,944 231,298,213 6.3%

Canada's Exports to All Countries (HS Code 170220) - (Quantity, KGM)
  2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
Maple sugar and maple syrup 40,672,935 34,227,103 34,173,032 32,577,174 -19.9%

Canada's Monthly Exports to All Countries
(HS Code 170220, Value $CAD)
Month 2007 2008 2009 2010
Jan 17,531,384 17,578,872 14,405,149 20,664,396
Feb 15,852,436 16,666,804 17,063,513 16,193,769
Mar 17,426,326 17,659,521 17,332,700 19,173,844
Apr 19,967,456 17,384,006 28,405,993 15,307,471
May 20,359,468 22,976,428 29,266,013 17,869,281
Jun 18,525,602 22,750,069 27,196,839 20,640,570
Jul 17,881,450 21,712,355 22,695,044 18,603,755
Aug 16,735,016 17,143,226 18,292,341 18,106,973
Sep 15,444,248 19,196,531 17,181,934 19,286,453
Oct 18,651,384 21,270,540 20,206,630 20,008,908
Nov 18,731,075 21,830,182 20,895,105 24,478,844
Dec 20,523,579 17,570,315 19,780,683 20,963,949
TOTAL 217,629,424 233,738,849 252,721,944 231,298,213

Canada's Exports to All Countries by Province
(HS Code 170220, Value $CAD)
Province 2007 2008 2009 2010
Alberta 20 0 5 1
British Columbia 576,735 734,482 559,496 501,394
Manitoba 0 0 131 0
New Brunswick 1,551,855 4,269,609 7,555,452 7,645,221
Nova Scotia 119,185 7,410 108,694 385,107
Northwest Territories 0 0 0 310,532
Ontario 7,424,809 1,023,970 1,010,185 441,308
Prince Edward Island 1,096 0 0 217,404
Québec 207,948,908 227,703,378 243,487,981 221,797,246

Canada's Top 10 Maple Sugar and Syrup Markets
(HS Code 170220, Value $CAD)
Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 Growth 2007-2010
TOTAL: 217,629,424 233,738,849 252,721,944 231,298,213 6.3%
United States 153,101,334 156,029,130 167,861,447 142,993,460 -6.6%
Japan 20,752,812 24,612,437 21,669,051 28,092,909 35.4%
Germany 15,874,924 15,478,107 16,414,931 16,224,744 2.2%
United Kingdom 4,323,698 10,130,850 13,069,021 9,593,150 121.9%
France 5,319,911 6,201,111 8,289,540 7,580,222 42.5%
Australia 4,817,936 5,400,626 8,129,652 6,883,308 42.9%
Denmark 2,489,716 3,609,875 4,257,666 4,130,080 65.9%
South Korea 2,026,880 1,697,885 2,066,720 2,941,053 45.1%
Switzerland 2,145,845 2,258,390 2,115,704 2,741,707 27.8%
Netherlands 1,882,430 1,755,093 2,132,899 2,244,257 19.2%