A “gentleman farmer” disappointed not to be able to give her maple syrup to community-based organizations

News 9 March, 2018
  • Courtesy
    Stéphane Garneau in his sugar bush of Beaumont.

    Martin Lavoie

    Friday, 9 march 2018 17:32

    Friday, 9 march 2018 17:39

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    A “gentleman farmer” is stunned to see that the rules of the Federation of Quebec maple syrup producers does not allow him to give to tens of thousands of dollars from his maple syrup to charities, and welcomes with restraint to the opening of the body.

    Stéphane Garneau, a businessman from Quebec, operates for the past eight years small-scale a sugar shack in Beaumont, municipality located just east of Levis.

    “This year have decided to go bigger and put out of the tubing. The goal was to be able to make donations to foundations such as those of Patro Laval and the CHU de Québec. They could sell canes and finance,” says the one who has invested$ 100,000 to set up a sugar shack on the cutting edge of technology.

    The co-ordinator to the regulations of the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) has responded to an email from Mr. Garneau that “this approach would bypass the regulation.” In his message, he also invites the donor to share his project. “Their response made me freak out,” says Mr. Garneau.

    Tens of thousands of $

    A producer like him can directly sell his syrup (containing less than 5 litres) to the consumer. But if it is intended to be sold by an intermediary, the Federation of Quebec maple syrup producers (FPAQ) requires that he or she possesses a quota, in any way a licence to produce.

    “I get nothing not even a tax receipt. This is not a way bypassed to receive an income. The alternative would be to sell myself to the syrup and return the money to the associations, but it is a job full-time,” he says.

    “I don’t want to fuck the mess with the Federation. I just want a waiver. I have 3500 taps. It’s thousands of rods that I can give. It represents several tens of thousands of dollars. I didn’t even need me to stick with it to give my syrup,” the one who has the ambition of her means. He is the owner of the businesses, Micro Logic, and project Cirrus and assesses its turnover to 100 million dollars.

    Opening of the federation

    Simon Trépanier, executive director of the FPAQ, said he was “a little dismayed by the reaction of Stéphane Garneau”. “It is a record of noble and we are quite open to discuss it. At first glance, the project seems to me quite acceptable. We support the breakfast Club by giving them syrup for the past ten years,” he added.

    Mr. Trépanier recalled that four times since 2007, the FPAQ has issued quotas, which are free, to a total of 675 maple operations to meet the demand. This, however, does not in the short and medium term the problem of Mr. Garneau.

    The question should be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the board of directors of the FPAQ, the 13 march. A response that does not satisfy all of Mr. Garneau. “All I hear on the Federation it is negative. I have the impression that I do that getting in the machine. The spring it is now. I don’t want it to rule in the month of July.”

    This week, the Journal revealed a study by the Montreal economic Institute (MEI), according to which, by limiting voluntarily its production, Quebec could lose its position as world leader. A report commissioned in 2015 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Quebec, recommended, inter alia, to exclude from the control of the FPAQ the sale of a container of less than 5l of syrup to intermediaries.

    Of the cases which were talking

    • In march 2017, parents who were in the process of repainting a volunteer school Captain-Luc-Fortin, Saint-Sébastien, Montérégie, are forced to stop by the Commission de la construction du Québec.
    • In 2015, an artisan baker gives his bread against a voluntary contribution is threatened with closure by the MAPAQ, if it does not comply with government standards.
    • In 2010, a poultry farm of Lanaudière, which gives, for ten years a portion of her eggs to charity local, must stop following the intervention of the ministry of Agriculture and the Federation of egg producers.