Summary Report from the IMSI Board of Directors/Annual Meeting
Location: Groton, CT
Date: October 2012
The International Maple Syrup Institute held their quarterly Board of Directors Meeting on Monday October 21st and their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday October 22nd in Groton, Connecticut. Both of these business meetings of the Institute were very well attended. A short summary of IMSI business and related information discussed at these meetings is provided below.
IMSI Membership Report:
IMSI membership categories include state and provincial maple associations, maple cooperatives and packers, maple equipment manufacturers and individual members. Presently, there are 19 Canadian members and 30 US members in the Institute. The importance of membership dues in helping finance high priority projects of the Institute was discussed along with the need to further grow membership so that project expenses can be fully accommodated. Current IMSI members are encouraged to help the Institute recruit new members and those who view the work of the Institute as valuable to the future of the maple syrup industry are encouraged to join. In Connecticut, the IMSI Board of Directors approved a motion not to raise membership dues for 2013.
IMSI Proposed Standard Definition, Grades and Nomenclature
for Pure Maple Syrup:
Work towards regulatory approvals on the IMSI’s Standard Grades Initiative at the federal and state/provincial level (US & Canada) is expected to extend well into 2013. Maple syrup producers and other maple syrup industry stakeholders will be advised by the IMSI when approvals are obtained, when implementation can proceed as well as details regarding a possible transition period between the current grading systems and the new grade standard. Market trial exposure work for the new grading system has been completed by the IMSI and findings were presented at the IMSI Annual meeting in Groton, CT in October. Consumer feedback from consumers engaged in these trials was supportive of the changes being proposed and consistent with related consumer research sponsored earlier by the IMSI. A few potential suppliers are in the process of developing, or have already developed prototype colour classification equipment aligned with the proposed new standard so that equipment can be made available once regulatory approval(s) for the change are obtained.
IMSI Maple Nutrition Information:
In recent months the IMSI has focused on making the nutrition poster & rackcard and nutrition related research information, which has been prepared and packaged by the IMSI, accessible to potential users. The material can now be accessed on the IMSI website (www.internationalmaplesyrupinstitute.com) and other options to make the material available in hard copy are being considered. Nutrition information was available at the IMSI’s exhibit at the joint North American and International Male Syrup Institute Meetings in Groton, CT.
Ray Bonenberg ,IMSI Director representative for the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association presented a synthesis of interesting research findings related to nutrition and potential health benefits of pure maple syrup at the IMSI Annual General Meeting.
California Proposition 65 –Maple Issue:
The IMSI is working to help address the California Proposition 65 – Maple issue. Details are strictly confidential on this file.
IMSI Exotic Insect Industry Position Development:
The IMSI has initiated a project which is intended to lead to a maple industry position paper on the Asian Longhorned Beetle and most likely the Emerald Ash Borer. The IMSI is in the very initial stages of this work which is being led by Ray Bonenberg, IMSI Director representing the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association. Anyone who may be interested in contributing to this work should contact the Executive Director of the IMSI, Dave Chapeskie.
IMSI Adulteration Testing and Misrepresentation of Maple in the Marketplace:
The IMSI is reviewing options for testing laboratories in both the US and Canada to conduct IMSI sponsored adulteration testing. A decision regarding laboratories to be used in the future will be addressed at the February 2013 IMSI Board of Directors meeting in Burlington, VT. In the meantime, IMSI members who wish to submit samples for adulteration testing through this program should contact Dave Chapeskie for program details. The IMSI is also closely monitoring research underway at Centre Acer in Quebec which is focused on developing the capacity for adulteration testing of syrup.
The IMSI continues to be vigilant regarding the marketing of competing syrup products in the marketplace which may be misleading to the consumer. If you are aware of a syrup product where you believe container type, labelling and/or shelf placement may be misleading to the consumer, you are encouraged to bring this to the attention of appropriate regulatory authorities for assessment. Alternatively, you could bring it to the attention of the IMSI’s Executive Director for follow-up.
IMSI Website Renewal:
The IMSI website has been renewed (summer of 2012); IMSI members and others are encouraged to visit the site. There is a good cross-section of information online related to IMSI business at www.internationalmaplesyrupinstitute.com. The website is bilingual with English and French language components.
IMSI Sponsored Awards (2012):
Hank Peterson of Londonderry, New Hampshire was the recipient of the 2012 Lynn Reynolds Memorial Leadership Award and Citadelle Cooperative was the recipient of the 2012 Golden Maple Leaf Award. The Lynn Reynolds Award recognizes outstanding leadership of an individual in support of the North American and/or International Maple Syrup Industry. The Golden Maple Leaf Award recognizes excellence in innovation.
Changes to IMSI Executive Committee & Board for 2013:
Yvon Poitras, General Manager of the New Brunswick Maple Syrup Producers Association is the IMSI President Elect (2013) and Mark Harran, President of the Connecticut Maple Producers Association is the IMSI Vice President Elect (2013).
Steve Selby will continue to serve as Treasurer (expect one year), Richard Norman will assume the position of Past President (two year term) and Dave Chapeskie has been appointed as Executive Director (decided annually). Gary Gaudette will be retiring from his role of Past President on December 31st and is thanked for his many years of service to the Institute.
The twenty-seven member IMSI Board of Directors will undergo minimal change in 2013 with Mark Bigelow replacing Steve Jones of Maple Grove Farms on the Board. Steve is thanked for his service to the Board and Mark is welcomed.
Upcoming Maple Industry Meetings:
The IMSI Board of Directors meetings schedule for 2013 is being filled in. The next IMSI Board of Directors meeting will be held in Burlington, Vermont on Thursday, February 7th, the Board meeting following that will be held in Ottawa, Ontario on Tuesday, May 7th and a Maine location is being considered for the August meeting.
The 2013 Annual Meeting of the International Maple Syrup Institute and the North American Maple Syrup Council will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick. The program will offer French and English language services. As many of you know, New Brunswick is a favourite destination in North America. New Brunswick features friendly people, beautiful scenery, cultural diversity and a prosperous maple syrup industry with unique attributes. The New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association has extended a special invitation to each of you to attend the 2013 joint meeting of the International Maple Syrup Institute and the North American Maple Syrup Council in Moncton, New Brunswick from Wednesday, October 23rd to Friday, October 25th, 2013
International Maple Syrup Institute