As consumers become increasingly conscious of what they eat and of the ingredients used in their food products, companies advertising maple on their primary selling panel without containing any real maple on the ingredient list are being dragged into the spotlight.
Tom Branon laughs warmly as he describes how much he loves the taste of maple syrup in his coffee. “The truth is, he puts a little bit of coffee in his maple syrup,” his wife Cecile chimes in. They lean into each other and laugh in the light of the beautiful, modern sugarhouse they built together in 2013. They have been farming together since they first met, over 37 years ago.
Sales of organic products in the US totaled nearly $39 billion – and nearly 5% of the total food market share according to the Organic Trade Association’s Market Analysis for 2014 – and pure maple syrup is no exception. What is organic maple syrup? Why is demand so strong? And, what is it being used for?
The Tiffany brothers don’t mince words when it comes to maple syrup. They love maple syrup on ice cream, over pancakes, and in their everyday cooking. They love being in the woods every day, and they love sugaring. They intend to keep doing exactly that.
A small, thoughtfully designed space, Rick Mayotte’s sugarhouse is set up for high syrup production. He’s running over 50,000 taps across beautiful land in Fairfield, Vermont, and he hopes to increase his production in the coming year.
“I have always been under the belief that if you drill too many holes, you kill your trees. You can have the nicest operation in the world but, with sugaring, you make your money out in the woods. So, you need to take care of your trees. Tree health is the most important part.”
Meet our friend Jeff Corey.
We work with over 350 sugar makers to supply maple syrup to our operation. Each one of these farmers shares a vision of forest stewardship and commitment to quality that is similar to the one that has driven our work for decades.
If you live in Vermont, you may recognize this fuzzy little creature, known as the Forest Tent Caterpillar. This North American native insect is found throughout most of the United States and Canada, mostly in the eastern regions wherever hardwoods can be found, where they favor sugar maples, ash and red oak trees.