Maple producer participation in New York State Grown & Certified more than tripledStaff Writer | March 1, 2019
Maple producer participation in the New York State Grown & Certified program has more than tripled since last year.
Empire State The program increases exposure for New York's maple producers
The program increases exposure for New York's maple producers, who rank second in the nation in syrup production and generate an estimated economic impact of $141 million each year.
Annual Maple Weekends scheduled for March 23-24 and March 30-31 will help spotlight the growing maple industry and boost awareness of producers in the Grown & Certified program.
Throughout the month of March, maple farms across the state will open their doors to the public to offer tours and pancake breakfasts, sell maple products and demonstrate the syrup-making process, which includes the traditional system of hanging buckets on trees or more modern methods of production using vacuum systems to increase the yield of sap per tree.
For maple, the syrup must be sourced from New York maple trees and processed in New York State.
To meet the food safety standards, participants must have successfully completed a maple food safety class, developed in partnership between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Western New York Maple Producers Association, and must follow food safety best practices that are subject to an onsite audit.
A maple producer must also participate in an environmental management program that promotes sustainability and keeps forests healthy and productive, such as the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management program, which is administered through the Soil and Water Conservation Districts, or the Certified Tree Farmer, administered by the American Tree Farm System. ■