Core Activities

Chain of Custody Certification for Syrup Producers

maple-production03The EOMF is the only organization currently offering Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certification services to maple producers in Ontario. In order to sell maple syrup as “certified”, producers must meet and follow a number of the forest management and maple syrup production requirements. This means that your sugar bush management, sap collection, and processing operations are subject to evaluation by third-party auditors against a set of criteria – if you meet the standard, your woodlot is “certified” and you will be able to market your products as having come from a “well-managed” source.

While it may sound a bit onerous at first, it is important to recognize that the certification process of is not that difficult for most producers. Yes, there will be some gaps between what you do now and what is required by the certification system but generally, these gaps are easy to overcome and in many cases, provide additional operational benefits. Some of the main examples of the maple specific operating procedures include:

General Considerations:

  • Maple-tapping and processing equipment must meet all applicable licensing laws, sanitation standards, quality control, packaging and labeling requirements.
  • Your forest management practices must conform to all applicable laws and regulations.

Public Notice Considerations:

  • The Landowner and/or Forest Manager must communicate with neighbours, local communities, and any potentially affected groups or individuals when sugar bush management activities have the potential to negatively impact them.

maple-production02Management Plan Considerations:

  • You will need a forest management plan that incorporates your forest inventory and your sugar bush management objectives.
  • Your plan shall be technically sound and sufficiently detailed, given the size, complexity, and intensity of your operation.
  • The plan shall describe and justify the intensity and method of sap harvesting.

Operational Considerations:

  • Sap collection equipment shall be installed with minimal damage to trees.
  • Sap collection infrastructure (i.e., collection pipelines) and management activities cannot negatively impact wildlife populations and other forest resources.
  • The intensity, frequency, and seasonality of sap harvests cannot exceed sustainable levels and must be based on a combination of scientific study and/or long-term local experience and knowledge.
  • Recommended tapping rates and best management practices shall be followed in the forest.
  • Sensitive site elements must be identified and protected from damage.
  • Management and sap collection practices shall minimize impacts to forest composition, soil structure and fertility.
  • Unused sap collection materials and any waste generated from sugaring operations shall be removed from the forest and disposed of appropriately.
  • Tree harvesting practices shall incorporate new scientific or technical information as required.
  • Workers shall receive adequate training and supervision to ensure proper tapping and processing techniques.

maple-production01Monitoring Considerations:

  • Regular monitoring shall be incorporated into your sugar bush operations.
  • Monitoring practices are technically sound and identify or describe the following:
    • changes in the maple component of the forest, maple growth rates, and regeneration;
    • changes in forest health;
    • presence of high pest populations;
    • harvesting levels including number of taps used, volume of sap collected; and volume and grades of syrup produced.

For more information read  FSC Maple Certification 2012 PDF