The Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association was formed in 1966. The provincial organization is comprised of 11 active districts similar to Simcoe and District Maple Syrup Producers Association. Maple Syrup has a long history in Ontario and we are proud to be a small part of that history. Maple Syrup is the oldest agricultural crop in the province and the 1st to be produced in the spring of the year.
From those earlier beginnings the syrup industry has seen a lot of changes. From the first equipment, which was a cast iron kettle, to flat tin pans, to stainless welded pans to today’s all stainless equipment. We have come from buckets and a horse-drawn sleigh to tubing, vacuum pumps and reverse osmosis machines. Many of us use wood to create a fire to boil the sap some have oil burners and there is an ever-increasing interest in the use of high-pressure steam.
As an industry, Maple Syrup is unique to northeastern North America, the native range of Sugar Maple. Quebec is the largest producer. The maple industry in Ontario is a fifteen-million dollar business. In Simcoe and District we have approximately 50 members with approximately 45,000 taps. Our crop is valued at just over a half a million dollars.
As an association we hold our Annual Information day for our members, participate in a Breakfast for Learning Program, support the Collingwood Fair and have participated at the Barrie Fair. We have hosted the provincial summer tour twice in recent years. We are presenters at the annual Farm Comes to Town event of the Simcoe County Federation of Agricultural, and of course are active members in the best maple syrup festival in the province!