May 18th 2012
Summary from the IMSI Board of Directors Meeting
Date: Friday May 18th,2012
Location: American Maple Museum, Croghan, New York
The International Maple Syrup Institute held their quarterly Board of Directors meeting at the American Maple Museum in Croghan, New York on Friday May 18th, 2012. The meeting was very well attended by IMSI Directors, IMSI members and guests. This summary is being provided in advance of more detailed formal minutes from the meeting which will be distributed later.
2012 Maple Crop Reports
Some states and provinces reported crop yields which were much lower than they experienced over the past few years. It was reported that States west of Ohio had a very poor year and best crop yields were reported in northern New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and the state of Maine who reported a very good year. Reports regarding the Quebec crop indicate that yields were poor in western Quebec but better in other areas of the province. While all reports are still preliminary, based on reports from the IMSI Board of Directors meeting, it is anticipated that the Quebec crop was down by about one-third from 2011. A preliminary crop report has not yet been provided by the Federation of Quebec Maple producers. It is anticipated that supply of syrup will meet demand in 2012, due in part to the Federation’s existing strategic reserve of over 30 million pounds.
Renewal and Modernization of the IMSI Website:
Mary Moore of Cedar Lane Studios from Ontario working with Dave Chapeskie started on preparing a mock-up including design and content for a renewed IMSI website. Work on this project will continue in June/July 2012.
Testing and Adulteration of Maple Syrup:
Dave Chapeskie mentioned that the IMSI continues to assist members with adulteration testing of suspected syrups in the international market place and that he is working to finalize selection of Canadian and/or US laboratory(s) for future tests. Dave will consult with Tim Perkins and Yves Bois in finalizing this selection of laboratories for testing. The IMSI members who wish to submit samples of syrup suspected of adulteration should contact Dave Chapeskie for details regarding what is required to participate in the program.
California Proposition 65-Maple Issue:
John Kingston of Butternut Mountain Farm reported status of the California Proposition 65-Maple Issue. This was followed by a discussion and questions. President Richard Norman advised those attending the meeting that all discussion and correspondence regarding California Proposition 65 is confidential and must be treated as such. Any questions regarding this issue should be addressed to Dave Chapeskie.
Standardized Maple Grades and Nomenclature:
Dave Chapeskie with the assistance of IMSI Director Representatives from a number of states and provinces reported on progress leading to implementation of the Standardized Grades and Nomenclature initiative. In general while support for the changes remains strong, progress in incorporating the changes into maple regulations has been slow since the formal request was submitted to government agencies in September of 2011.
Recently, the United States Department of Agriculture has completed a first draft document with the regulatory amendments and has requested that the IMSI review this draft. A recent Motion in the Canadian Senate to support the IMSI’s Standardized Grades and Nomenclature Proposal was passed unanimously and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has now indicated they are beginning the process which will lead to the amendment of Canadian Maple Regulations incorporating the proposed changes.
New York State has begun drafting the Regulatory amendments, Ohio State is awaiting the USDA Regulations and Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire have been involved in dealing with initial process requirements but remain committed to the grade and nomenclature amendments.
While the IMSI’s goal for implementation of the new standard is the 2013 maple production , implementation cannot occur until regulatory approvals are finalized and new or modified colour classification equipment is commercially available . It is anticipated that governments will allow for a reasonable transition period between existing grading systems and the new international standard to permit producers and packers to exhaust significant label inventories and to ease any operational adjustments required due to the change.
It was mentioned that market trial exposures being conducted utilizing the new grading system and nomenclature will be reported on at the NAMSC- IMSI Annual Meeting in Mystic, Connecticut in October.
Maple Nutritional and Health Benefits Resources:
Ray Bonenberg reported on the resources which are now available from the Executive office of the IMSI. These include a bilingual rackcard, French and English posters and an information CD. The CD contains a camera-ready copy of the rackcard and poster, a copy of most nutritional and health benefits scientific papers and other related information.
Ray re-iterated that the IMSI’s purpose in developing and providing these materials is for awareness and education purposes. He indicated that it is permissible for IMSI members, including their individual maple producer members to utilize the camera-ready files to duplicate the materials. They may add their own business identifiers to the poster and rackcard so long as the information content and inclusion of the IMSI logo on the resources is not changed.
IMSI members who have not yet received a limited number of rackcards and posters as well as a CD will receive a mailing of this material. The IMSI also has a limited number of printed rackcards and posters for sale and anyone interested should contact Dave Chapeskie for further information.
Exotic Insect Pests Project Update:
Ray Bonenberg, project lead, reported that exploratory work and networking in support of this project has been initiated. Follow-up will occur as time permits.
Research and Regulatory Reports:
Yves Bois of Centre Acer advised that Centre Acer could still utilize additional syrup samples for the IMSI sponsored sulphites Research project which is underway. Further details can be obtained from the IMSI’s Executive Director.
Some further details will be provided in the minutes from the Board meeting.
Organic Certification Committee Update:
Eric Prud’Homme reported for the IMSI’s Organic Certification Committee. He advised that the Committee was continuing work on consolidating background information on Organic Certification Standards in Canada and the US. In particular, additional statistics on the scale of organic certification and completing the work on consolidation of information on state-level organic certification standards in the US is required. No other specific follow-up or role for the IMSI will be decided until consolidation and synthesis of background information is finalized.
IMSI Sponsored Awards (2012):
Dave Chapeskie mentioned that the IMSI continues to sponsor two awards annually, the Golden Maple Leaf Award, which recognizes innovation in the North American and International Maple Syrup Industry, and the Lynn Reynolds Memorial Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding service and accomplishments of an individual for the North American/International Maple Syrup Industry. It was agreed that the 2011 criteria for the two awards would apply without amendment in 2012. The IMSI members are strongly encouraged to submit nominations for the two awards to the IMSI’s Executive Director no later than August 31st, 2012. Specifications for the two awards are appended to this summary.
IMSI Sponsored Maple Grading School:
Kathy Hopkins provided a written report on the IMSI sponsored maple grading school. Participants in the schools continue to greatly value the educational experience offered. Kathy and Henry Marckres were unable to attend the IMSI Board meeting in Croghan since they were involved in delivering a Grading School in Minnesota. IMSI members may learn about the Grading School and its offerings by accessing the University of Maine – Cooperative Extension website with the link provided below. http://umaine.edu/maple-grading-school/
Next IMSI Board of Directors Meetings (August 2012):
The next IMSI Board of Directors meeting will be hosted by Centre Acer and held at the Centre Acer Research facility in St. Hyacinthe, Quebec on Thursday August 9th. Please contact Dave Chapeskie if you require additional information. The October 2012 IMSI Annual Board of Directors meeting will be held at the Mystic Marriott Hotel in Mystic, Connecticut on Monday, October 22nd, 2012.
NAMSC-IMSI Annual Meetings (2012 and 2013):
The 2012 Annual NAMSC-IMSI Meetings will be held from Monday, October 22nd to Thursday, October 25th at the Mystic Marriot Hotel in Mystic, Connecticut. The IMSI’s Annual Meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 23rd from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Room reservations may be made by calling Marriott reservation department at 866-449-7390. Tell the agent that you are with the Maple Syrup Producers Association and they will book you within the block room booking. For further information, contact Dave Chapeskie or Richard Norman at firstname.lastname@example.org The 2013 Annual NAMSC-IMSI Meetings will be held from October 21-24th at Delta, Beauséjour, Moncton, N.B. For further information, contact Yvon Poitras at email@example.com
Maple Induction Ceremony:
President Richard Norman advised the meeting that the IMSI’s Executive Director, Dave Chapeskie would be inducted into the Maple Hall of Fame in Croghan, New York on Saturday, May 19th, 2012.
Dave Chapeskie, R. P. F., Executive Director,
International Maple Syrup Institute
Location: South Burlington, Vermont