Nova Scotia

Rejected by Saudi Arabia, Nova Scotia maple syrup makes its way across globe

Canadians — and maple syrup fans from around the world — have stepped up to help Anne Hutchinson's business based in Lake Paul, N.S.

'As of Sunday morning all 900 litres were sold,' says Anne Hutchinson

Canadians from across the country offered to buy Anna Hutchinson's 900 litres of maple syrup after the government of Saudi Arabia rejected her shipment. (Brett Ruskin / CBC News)

It was a sweet solution to a sticky situation.

Anna Hutchinson had 900 litres of maple syrup and nowhere to sell it.

She had been days away from sending her first shipment of syrup from Hutchinson Acres in Lake Paul, N.S., to Saudi Arabia. The bottles had special Arabic language packaging, approved by the Saudi government.

Then, after more than a year of clearing regulatory hurdles, she was told by her Saudi purchaser to keep the syrup amid the current diplomatic dispute between the Canadian and Saudi governments.

Since the labels were specifically made for the Saudi market, Hutchinson couldn't put her syrup on store shelves anywhere else.

In the days that followed, Canadians — and maple syrup fans from around the world — have stepped up to help Hutchinson's business.

All the syrup is now sold

"I was shocked, shocked beyond belief," Hutchinson said.

After appearing on CBC News last Friday to discuss her situation, her phone starting ringing and emails poured in.

"As of Sunday morning all 900 litres were sold," she said.

Two jugs of Hutchinson's maple syrup are packaged for shipment. (Brett Ruskin / CBC News)

Hutchinson said most of the messages and syrup requests were motivated by "helping to support a small Canadian business."

In the last few days she's filled orders ranging from one jug to many more than that.

"Some people said, 'We'll take 100 bottles and we'll give them out as Christmas presents this year,'" she said.

Global interest

She received orders from overseas, too.

Some of the countries where she has sent her maple syrup include United Arab Emirates, China, India, Jordan and Costa Rica.

Each purchaser had heard the story and wanted to help.

She says that while nearly every bottle is spoken for, she is keeping a couple for people who might walk in the door, something she says has happened regularly over the past few days.

"It's just amazing," Hutchinson said.

Anna Hutchinson greets a customer arriving to pick up maple syrup. (Brett Ruskin / CBC News)

Read more articles at CBC Nova Scotia


Brett Ruskin


Brett Ruskin is a reporter and videojournalist covering everything from local breaking news to national issues. He's based in Halifax.