SPENCERVILLE The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has approved a new designation for grading maple syrup, but most Ontario syrup producers wont be able to use the new system until OMAFRA approves it.
The International Maple Syrup Institute, based in Spencerville, south of Kemptville, has been advocating the changes for 13 years. They say the current grading system is confusing, as an amber grade in Ontario refers to dark maple syrup. Worse, in New York state amber means a light syrup. The different designations make it confusing for buyers who travel often, or even when a few maple syrup farms using different designations ship to the same location overseas.
This matters because Canada produces 80 per cent of the worlds maple syrup and the vast majority of it comes from Quebec. Quebec alone produces 75 per cent of global production.
The new Grade A classifications for retail maple syrup will be:
Golden: delicate taste
Amber: rich taste
Dark: robust taste
Very dark: Strong taste (for cooking).
Each province and state needs to approve the changes before producers can use the designation.
Ontario maple syrup producers that are federally registered can use the new designation. If not, they need to wait until OMAFRA approves it.
As it stands now, the Ontario system uses these classifications by colour: extra light, light, medium, amber and dark.