the great canadian maple syrup heist
St. -Canada HighwayLouis-de-
Brandeford, about two hours northeast of Montreal. Inside, baby-
The blue Maple syrup is stacked six barrels in rows, several hundred deep.
620 pounds a barrel.
The price of Grade A syrup is about $32 per gallon, equivalent to $1,800 per barrel, about 13 times the price of crude oil.
The fiscal year is coming to an end, and the Federation of maple syrup producers in Quebec has hired verymmar, a company in govelo, to audit its inventory.
Quebec dominates the maple syrup market and has been operating as a legitimate cartel since 2002, setting production quotas and prices, authorizing buyers and storing syrup.
There are about 16,000 barrels, about one.
A tenth of Quebec\'s annual output.
The gap between the two rows is almost not wide enough to pass through, and the steel rubber sole of Gao FAU --
Tip boots glued to sugar
Coated concrete floor.
He climbed a row of barrels and when one of them shook with his weight he was close to the top. He nearly fell.
He regained his balance and knocked on the bucket in a panic, so it was very light because the bucket was empty.
He soon found the other empty ones.
After informing the federal leaders and coming back with them to check the inventory, they screwed the lid on a full barrel.
There is no vanilla, caramel, and childhood wine in the liquid, and there is no bronze, Brown or aromatic;
It is very thin, very clear and has no smell. It was water.
It will take two months for the Federation to count the loss of inventory.
60% pounds (I . e. 6 million pounds of syrup) have disappeared and the wholesale value is about $18 million.
This bold and confusing robbery is considered one of the biggest agricultural thefts ever, dwarfing the 860 cattle stolen in Queensland, Australia, last spring, potato chips are as big as football fields dug up in Colombia, England in August.
It\'s not a great thing to suck away and transport so much syrup.
It needs more than 100 tractors. trailers.
\"To steal so much maple syrup means you have to understand the market,\" said Simon Trepanier, Federal acting director . \".
\"We are talking about big players.
\"Theft is also a survival threat to the Federation, which sees growing strategic reserves as the last step in stabilizing prices, locking buyers and ensuring producer loyalty.
Over the past decade, in a series of legal struggles named the \"Fenglin war\" by local media, it has been working to overcome opposition to its rule.
Some observers believe that their efforts to control the supply of syrup have actually contributed to the development of the underground economy.
\"It seems afterwards that\'s what you\'ll expect,\" said Mark Van oddenrod, an economist with the Montreal analysis team, who studied the industry.
In fact, the trail of syrup was free soon.
In their view, the market traitors inside and outside the province opposed the Communist Party\'s plan.
It\'s not just about syrup or money.
This is the epitome of the Cold War in Canada.
Maple syrup may not rank top in Canada\'s most important agricultural exports, but no one says \"well!
Like a liter of boiled water. down tree sap.
Ten kinds of maple trees, including sugar maple, are native to Canada.
By the beginning of the 19 th century, the multi-finger leaves had become a popular symbol of France.
Canadian living in St. -Lawrence Valley
Soon the leaves became a national symbol featuring coins, military uniforms and flags.
When Prime Minister Stephen Harper travels abroad, his gift bags for foreign leaders include a selection of the best maple syrup in the country.
It is still the pride and lasting punch line of a country.
In the Canadian market, you can find maple sugar, maple butter, maple pork friction, Maple vinegar, maple coffee, Maple tea, and Maple fragrance as of last year.
Syrup production takes place between February and April, generating pressure within 20 to 25 days when the temperature rises above freezing point, forcing energyrich sap—
About 3% of sugar.
Come out of a faucet hole in the trunk of the maple tree.
The most recent morning, 39-year-old Philip Turcott, an amiable man with gray spots on his beard and beard, visited his home 12,000-
The sugar jungle of delamondeville, Quebec.
A bunch of plastic tubes extend from one tree to the other and converge on a vacuum pump in a wooden cabin behind their property.
From that cottage, thin SAP was pumped to the barn on the Hill about half a mile, where it was reversed-
Penetration increases sugar concentration to 14%.
Then Turcotte ignited his $25,000 stainless steel Dallaire evaporator
Model Name: l\'enfer (“Hell”)—
Boil the syrup until the sugar concentration reaches 66%.
Quebec estimates maple syrup production at 2012.
The wholesale price is about $1 million.
There are three commodities exported to the United States. S.
The rest went to Japan, Germany, France and the United States. K.
And other countries.
Maple syrup is either a hobby or a second career for most producers, or a source of retirement income, but their investment and income are not trivial.
Turcotte\'s sugarbush can produce 35,000 pounds syrup a year, worth about $100,000, but it will take him many years to repay his equipment improvements.
Turcotte, who also works for Bell Telecom Canada, said he would not be there today if it were not federal.
\"They have rescued the industry from its predicament,\" he said . \"
\"Business has never been so prosperous for me.
\"In the early days, maple syrup producers joined forces in the region to set up trade groups and develop joint marketing plans.
1989 The provincial commission for agriculture and food marketing of Québec established regulations and arbitrated legal disputes, supervised a vote authorizing the Federation to establish separate rules for the production and sale of maple syrup throughout the province.
Over the next 10 years, the number of trees excavated has increased from 20 million to 35.
Due to the short production season and frequent price fluctuations, supply also exceeded demand by 2000: The price of syrup fell to CAD 1. 56 ($1. 57)
2 Canadian dollars per pound. 20 in 1998.
Producers cannot obtain bank loans or invest in new equipment.
In 2002 and 2003, the Federation established a central sales agency and a quota system for bulk sales.
Producers receive quotas based on their best two production years.
These regulations push wholesale prices up from the average Canadian dollar.
Between 06 and 2 Canadian dollars per pound in 2002.
82, but 7,300 producers in the province must also pay their dues: 12 cents per pound.
On 2010, on the occasion of the 20 th anniversary of the establishment of the cartel, the federation\'s enthusiastic young Inspector, Mathieu Audi, wrote an ode: \"In the principle of unity, solidarity and social justice, in order to seek consensus, the producers have pursued their common interests and traveled all over the countryside!
French sounds better.
However, solidarity with some people is a concentrated plan for the evil of others.
If you live in Quebec and want to use maple wholesale syrup, you will either have to buy the land from the person who obtained the assignment or apply to the Federation for a new assignment, which is an uncertain process, it may take several years.
There are twelve producers on the waiting list.
Producers are free to exceed their quota, but they will only be paid if the entire federal inventory runs out.
They also need to pay for storage.
Quotas sometimes require intrusive supervision.
For example, if a producer has not sold to the Federation for a year, Audy or his peers can ask him to provide electricity to prove that he has not cooked syrup.
Buyers and producers who circumvent the system are subject to huge fines.
\"We have a bad system in Quebec,\" says grips Roland champagne, producer of Inverness.
A rebellion began in the woods.
Nevertheless, by the summer of 2012, the federation had largely overcome its discontent and approached a milestone in consolidating its dominance.
In order to fully stabilize the price, the actuaries calculated that the federation needed to maintain a reserve of 40 million lbs of syrup, and the Federation was building a facility to accommodate the situation.
At the same time, it has begun to store the remaining syrup in the holy-Louis-de-Blandford.
The only security guard is a security guard who should come every day. Etienne St. Pierre, a 69-year-
The old widower has been working in New Brunswick\'s ketchwick all his life.
Class logging town, 100 miles from Maine, is surrounded by mixed evergreen forests in the northernmost ruins of the Appalachian Mountains. His great-
Grandfather settled here in 1905 as part of the land grant program;
Today, his four brothers and two sisters have houses on a short road.
After retiring in early 1990, as a mechanic, St.
Pierre founded a sugar factory that produces about 65,000 pounds of syrup a year and then sells it to Quebec.
But from 1993 to 1995, for three years in a row, he lost about half of his sales as a buyer who declared bankruptcy one after another.
He decided that he would rather declare bankruptcy if something went wrong.
He sold his sugar cloth to his only son and opened a shop in one of his home offices, launching SK exports in 2002, packing and transporting syrup.
His business plan is simple: avoid the federation and sell it directly to dealers in the United States. S.
In his first year, he exported thousands of barrels of New Brunswick syrup to Maple Farm in Vermont, which was sold at Wal-Mart with candy and baking blends
Supermarkets, Safeway and other chain stores.
In 2006, he sent advertisements to producers in Quebec, promising between 25% and 50% cash.
\"Our system is very confidential,\" said a leaflet . \". “St.
Pierre is a very honest person and is very famous in this area . \"St.
Pierre considered that the provisions of the province of Quebec did not apply to him.
\"Once you get into New Brunswick, there\'s nothing the federation can do.
\"There is no obligation,\" he said.
The federation pleaded for a different opinion.
Undercover investigators working for the Federation at April17-
And in the funky alias Jacques lejinde-phoned St.
Pierre asked him if he would buy four barrels of Quebec syrup.
\"I\'m Mais oui,\" said St. Pierre.
The next day, Leblond\'s partner drove four barrels from inventory to New Brunswick. St.
Pierre gave his syrup a grade and assigned lejinble a confidential number of 95 so that he could be recognized.
A month later, Leblond received a check of $3,550.
65 issue 95 to buyer.
This is less than the federal payment, but the payment is coming soon.
The federation expanded its investigation in the second year and found out more about St.
Trade network of Pierre
Quebec producers are shipping thousands of barrels of syrup to Sao Tome.
Pierre made a dime for every pound of money saved by a remote farm.
Pierre and Liz Callon sold saint despite the quota system
Pierre their full annual production in 2005 and 2006.
The federal demands holy.
Pierre paid $264,166 in damages and submitted all bank statements from 2004 to 2008. St.
Pierre, a mature man who works every day in navy shirts and casual pants, ignores this and other demands that the federation is not entitled to any money. His second-in-
Commander Julian Boser took a stronger strategy: she wrote her reply on the summons and faxed it back to the federation. “F-u200d-u200d-you gang of A-
She wrote: \"hole. “Ha! Ha! Ha!
We will buy maple syrup forever.
In another letter, she mocked the Federation for continuing to get the address of the SK exit by mistake and helped provide an alternative to creative spelling: \"funk You, 7348 Street.
When posse didn\'t scream to the federal government, she helped make the syrup --
Maple Leaf and melted chocolatein-your-
Mouth maple sugar for sale in gift shop.
After the federal report on the theft of strategic reserves to the Quebec police, the agency began a large-scale investigation, including interviewing nearly 300 people in the industry to review export statistics, and forensic analysis of syrup kettle, forklift and scale, tracking two-
Sell a third stolen syrup to companies in New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario and the United StatesS. At 10a. m. on Sept. 25, Etienne St.
Pierre was in his usual navy.
The blue clothing company worked in the office after a recent Chinese reconnaissance trip when two police officers from the Quebec police station arrived with a search warrant.
BOCE knew that their Quebec search warrant was useless in New Brunswick;
Once she said she pretended to use it to wipe her skin, handed the bird to the police and locked the side door.
When the police went to the other door and asked for the key to the warehouse, she was holy.
Pierre hid them in her arms.
At 11 that night, the police breathed a sigh of relief and returned with the seal of approval of the New Brunswick judge, but they still had to pry open the warehouse door with a crowbar. Inside, St.
Pierre\'s syrup is worth more than millions of dollars.
The next day, he told the authorities that about 700 to 800 barrels came from the most notorious \"barrels-
An unauthorized middleman, who had clashed with the federation in the past and paid thousands of dollars in fines.
The police caught St.
Pierre\'s forklift, his supplier\'s confidential list, and all his syrup for forensic analysis.
In the second month, they took 75 to 100 barrels from an unmarked warehouse near the city of Quebec, and Vallières rented the warehouse to store and cook fermented syrup.
Neighbors say they often smell the maple trees floating through the parking lot, and Vallières did not try to hide his actions.
At the beginning of November, I met Valery in ketchwick, where he kept a low profile and often had lunch with St.
Pierre and built his own sugar bush.
A chubby, nervous guy in his 30 s, with a 6-point shadow and baseball cap, was willing to say only a few minutes through the open window of his idling pickup truck.
He defaulted on the rental of the warehouse and has not returned it since the raid.
He said that he usually bought it from producers that exceeded the quota, but could not guarantee that purloined syrup would not pass through his hand, and he did not know who would carry out the theft.
Five weeks later, December.
18, when the snow covered the Holy
Lawrence valley of Quebec City arrested Valery at his home near Quebec City, accusing him of conspiring with five other people to steal and sell stolen maple syrup in a warehouse.
The television camera filmed him being dragged into court in handcuffs.
A member of the gang rented the space in the same warehouse, just moved the syrup from part of the warehouse to another part, and then moved out from another loading dock.
The prosecutor prosecuted a total of 22 suspects, including St.
Pierre was accused of intentionally holding and trafficking stolen syrup. St.
Pierre was released on bail, saying he had nothing to do with the theft.
The stolen syrup still worries the law.
Law-abiding producers within the alliance.
\"What I\'m most worried about is that this syrup will go on sale and big buyers won\'t buy our syrup,\" Turcotte said . \".
TVA Nouvelles, a Quebec television station, reported that at least 70 trucks of stolen syrup had been shipped to three dealers in the United States. S.
Including the Bascom Maple Farm in New Hampshire, one of St. Hampshire.
Pierre\'s customers and the largest maple supplier in the United StatesS.
Bruce Basco said that he worked fully with s retédu bec in Quebec and that they had closed the inquiry, but he refused to answer whether the company had purchased any stolen syrup.
Two Vermont companies, Maple Farm and Highland Sugar Mills, who bought syrup, reportedly did not respond to requests for interviews.
There is no guarantee that the federation will ship its syrup back to the international border.
\"That\'s what\'s bothering us,\" said Trepanier, a slim tech bureaucrat who is passionate about the federation.
\"Everyone knows it was stolen, but no one can do anything about it.
He said that, at least until the full report comes out, the federation is obliged to sell to Bascom and other companies that reportedly receive stolen products.
The question of whether a strictly controlled system in Quebec can survive for a long time is imminent.
In 2002, in the first year of the new regulation, Quebec\'s maple syrup production accounted for 80% of the world\'s total.
The federal government raised its quota today from £ 68 million to £ 0. 115 billion, but its market share is falling.
In 2011, with the development of the US economy, its market share fell to 71%. S.
According to buyers, states and Canadian provinces without quotas have begun to supply cheaper syrup.
Senator Charles Schumer, last June (D-N. Y. )
Insert the Maple Mining Act into the draft farm bill, provide grants to farmers, mine trees on private land, and promote the industry.
There are 0. 28 billion removable maple trees in New York.
More than three times that of Quebec.
But few people have been dug.
The bill stalled in the house in September and may not pass until 2013.
Trepanier is following these developments closely.
\"We are not idiots,\" he said . \" He added that, in his view, climate change will eventually benefit his fellow citizens.
On the most recent afternoon, the side door of the warehouse where the theft occurred opened and there was a jingle on the wall.
The beer spilled and the smell of dry syrup flashed on the floor.
Two men wearing dirty work gloves climbed up a pile of shabby barrels in the dark, knocked them down with a boom and rolled them into the back of the trailer.
\"They are empty,\" said one of the men as they beat the barrel. “Scrap! ”Twenty-
Five miles from the town of lauriville, the federation is preparing a new warehouse.
When the Québec people called and said they had no place to keep them from holy.
Pierre, tepanier offered to help.
\"We have a new building with some space inside,\" he said.