Maple syrup production and climate change: Identifying maple syrup producers’ concerns and providing them with the best information to promote and support adaptation

Among many economic activities, the production of Maple syrup is one of the most directly related to the climate and particularly to the spring climate. 

Project details
Scientific program
2014-2019 programming
Theme(s) and priority(s)
Forest Resources
Start and duration
August 2015 • February 2016
Project Status
Principal(s) investigator(s)
Daniel Houle


The production of syrup from maple sap is an activity whose origins date back to the Indigenous peoples of Eastern Canada before the arrival of Europeans.

Over the years, production methods have been modernized and maple syrup production is now an important economic activity in Eastern Canada. It is practiced by nearly 13,500 maple syrup producers, who are responsible for about 75% of the world’s production and generate $283 million in annual revenue.

Maple syrup production is one of the economic activities most directly related to the climate, and in particular to the springtime weather. An increase in interannual climate variability is likely to worry producers. They are also concerned about the potential impact of climate change on the shift in the season and on yield per tap.



  • To produce useful information to promote the adaptation of the maple syrup industry, in a form that is appropriate for its users, i.e. maple syrup producers and the organizations that represent them

  • To better understand maple syrup producers' perceptions and concerns about the impacts of climate change on their practices and possible adaptation solutions

  • To assess whether these perceptions and concerns vary by region and by province.


  • An online survey of producers across Eastern Canada;

  • A focus group with a smaller number of producers (30-40) ;

  • Email distribution of an easy-to-understand document to maple syrup producers in Eastern Canada, with the support of their respective federations or associations.

Scientific publications

Document type
Production de sirop d'érable face aux changements climatiques: perception des acériculteurs du…
Legault, S., Plouffe-Leboeuf A., Houle D.,…
Perceptions of U.S. and Canadian maple syrup producers toward climate change, its impacts, and…
Legault, A., Houle, D., Plouffe, A., Ameztegui, A…


Other participants

  • Fédération des Producteurs Acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ)

  • The Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia

  • L’Association Acéricole du Nouveau-Brunswick Inc

  • Ontario Maple Syrup Producers Association

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