Maple Producers Band Together May 2 1925 - Today marks an important step for Quebec maple producers. One hundred and two producers from the Dorchester and Mégantic counties officially form a cooperative to cope with a monopoly of buyers whose demands threaten to destroy the market.
Since the early 1920s, chaos has reigned in the maple industry. Quebec maple producers have been powerless against those who control the wholesale market - by far the largest outlet - and adopt a "take it or leave it" attitude, offering a measly 4¢ to 5¢ per pound of sugar.
To remedy the situation, the Honorable Jos. Edmond Caron, Minister of Agriculture, directed Cyrille Vaillancourt, head of the honey and maple syrup department, to find a solution. The cooperative project, which was launched with Coopérative Fédérée de Québec manager J.-Arthur Paquet, began operations in 1924 when seventeen producers from Saint-Prosper, Saint-Zacharie, Sainte-Rose, Saint-Philibert, Saint-Benjamin et Saint-Aurélie joined together to prove its viability.
The cooperative, officially incorporated under the name "Les Producteurs de Sucre d'Érable de Québec", has its headquarters in Lévis.
A Fair Price, Full Control, and Quality As founding manager Cyrille Vaillancourt explains, banding together gives producers the power to get a fair price for their products and control all aspects of their industry. "Quebec maple producers are now in a position to supply both the industrial and retail markets with maple products packaged and stocked under the best possible conditions. As a result, producers will be able to deal directly with their customers and offer a product that meets the highest quality standards at a fair price".