Maple syrup association proposes producers pay dues

The New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association is considering becoming a commission that would collect dues from producers.

Some of 150 members object to concept and plan information meeting for Sunday in Springfield

New Brunswick's 150 maple syrup producers are looking at the possibility of forming a commission. (CBC)

The New Brunswick Maple Syrup Association is considering becoming a commission that would collect dues from producers.

The association, which represents 150 producers, is proposing the change to help raise more revenue in response to federal and provincial budget cuts last year.

"This would mean that all maple syrup producers having 10 hectares will pay the dues," said Louise Poitras, the vice-president of the association.

The amount of the dues has not been set. 

Poitras is adamant the commission would not impose strict production quotas, such as those imposed by the Quebec Federation of Maple Syrup Producers.

"Producers were very, very adamant that the commission would not involve any quotas, any reporting production, or sales of any kind," said Poitras.

David Briggs, the president of Briggs Maples, said he thinks other alternatives should be considered before the creation of a maple syrup commission.

Briggs said he believes the proposed model is moving the industry toward the larger producers.

"I don't believe in the structure they've proposed. It may need some tweaking is what I'm looking at," he said.

"But there's a lot of people that are upset with what's going on and I can understand why."

Producers opposed to the idea have organized an information meeting at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Belleisle Community Centre in Springfield.

Producers will be able to vote on whether to adopt the commission format in a plebiscite that will be held from June to September.

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