Friday, October 10, 2008

2009 New York State Maple Producers Winter Conference

Planning is underway for the 2009 New York State Maple Producers Winter Conference
A grower-focused 2009 NYS Maple Conference will provide practical and hands-on information for maple producers to build into existing and expanding operations.
January 9th and 10th, 2009

Mark your calendar now to attend the 2009 New York State Maple Producers Winter Conference. Schedule these dates in your planner or in your computer or maybe even in your head but be sure you set aside January 9th and 10th to get together with lots of other maple producers. The 2009 Maple Conference will be held in the same great location, the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School in Verona, New York on Friday evening January 9th and all day Saturday, January 10th. This central location provides plenty of meeting space as well as room for a large trade show with over 25 exhibitors displaying plenty of specialized equipment for meeting maple producer needs. With our new slightly more relaxed session schedule you will have access the latest in research and grower experiences regarding maple production, promotion, forest management and the making and marketing of a variety of maple products. This day-and-a-half event has something for every level of maple producer. A maple conference you will not want to miss.

The conference kicks off Friday evening with a featured speaker at 7:00 PM and industry trade show highlighting maple equipment, manufacturers, and vendors scheduled from 6:00 PM until 9:00 PM. Saturday’s program features 30 of the industry’s leading maple experts from throughout North America and Canada presenting in a variety of concurrent workshops. These workshops focus on several major areas of emphasis: beginning sugarmakers, new and advanced technologies, marketing, promotion, value-added products, maple tapping, tubing, vacuum, and forest management.

The conference is open to the general public, as well as maple producers, and is geared to all levels of sugar makers. Saturday’s trade show opens at 8:00 AM with workshops starting at 9:00AM. Held at the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill (V.V.S.) High School, Verona, New York, the conference is sponsored by the V.V.S. FFA, New York State Maple Producers Association and the Cornell Maple Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The V.V.S. High School is located between Utica and Syracuse, New York on State Route 31 just two minutes from NYS Thruway Exit 33.

For additional information contact V.V.S. FFA advisor Keith Schiebel at Registration forms will also be available at the New York State Maple Producers Website: or the Cornell Maple Program website: in November and December.

For more information, please contact:
Keith Schiebel -
Stephen Childs -

Health Benefits of Maple Abound

Health Benefits of Maple Abound
All-Natural Sweetener is Low on Glycemic Index, High on Taste; Contains Key Minerals and Is Produced Sustainably, Domestically.

Brattleboro, VT (PRWEB) October 1, 2008 -- Coombs Family Farms, a seventh generation maple producer and champion of small family farming, today reminds consumers that maple is not only an all-natural and delicious alternative to refined sugar, but also a food that possesses several health benefits.

"We all know that pure maple is a delicious and all-natural sweetener," said Arnold Coombs, seventh generation maple farmer, Chairman of the Vermont Maple Industry Council, and General Manager of Coombs Family Farms. "But did you know that pure maple has specific health benefits and can be produced sustainably and organically on small family farms here in New England?"

According to the Proctor Maple Research Center at the University of Vermont, one tablespoon of maple syrup is only 50 calories, about the same as a tablespoon of refined, white cane sugar. However, maple syrup has a low glycemic index value (54), according to the original Glycemic Index of the University of Sydney. A glance at its nutritional composition reveals that it also contains minerals such as manganese (100% DV), riboflavin (37% DV), zinc (18% DV), magnesium (7% DV) and calcium and potassium (5% DV). Brown sugar, corn syrup and honey have higher glycemic indexes and contain more calories than maple.
Pure maple syrup is all-natural, it contains no additives or preservatives, and it can be produced sustainably, organically, domestically, and by using environmentally sound practices.
While American Diabetes Month isn't until November, it is important to be aware year-round that nationwide, 23.6 million people, or 7.8% of our population, have diabetes, 5/7% of whom are undiagnosed. The intake of high glycemic index foods, including processed sugars and sweeteners, is still one of the primary causes of diabetes, as well as heart attack, stroke, and obesity.
In fact, the childhood obesity epidemic which, according to a survey conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in the May 21, 2008 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, has hit a plateau in recent months, still affects more than 32% of our country's children and cites the consumption of refined sugars and processed foods as the major culprit.

"Maple offers health benefits, but you have to make sure it's 100% pure and/or organically certified," continued Coombs. "There are many products in the mass market today that are positioned as maple syrup that are non-pure products that are simply maple flavored corn syrup with additives and preservatives, as well as a high glycemic index. Plus, pure maple atop pancakes, oatmeal, and yogurt is a motivator to not skip breakfast. And that's another health benefit."
Maple has a long history of being celebrated for its health benefits. The Master Cleanse diet was created by Stanley Burroughs in 1941 and later popularized by Peter Clickman in his book (2005) Lose Weight, Have More Energy and Be Happier in 10 Days. The Master Cleanse claims to be a way to cleanse the body of toxins and remove cravings, and involves drinking lemonade with Grade B maple syrup and other ingredients.
Health practitioners may argue about the efficacy and healthfulness of The Master Cleanse Diet; regardless, maple continues to be lauded for various health reasons.
About Coombs Family FarmsPure maple has been a way of life at Coombs Family Farms for seven generations. Coombs Family Farms has produced 100% pure maple since 1840. Since 1988, Coombs Family Farms has produced certified organic maple syrup. A champion of small family farming, Coombs Family Farms also sources 100% pure organic certified maple from other small, independent farmers who share the Coombs commitment to quality, environmental stewardship, and sustainable forestry management.
To learn more about Coombs Family Farms maple, please visit

Business Week Covers Rising Maple Syrup Costs

Why Maple Syrup Costs So Much
Mild spring weather in Canada and rising demand for syrup as a natural sweetener are making things sticky for bakers

September 27, 2008, 12:01AM EST by Pallavi Gogoi

It's hard to swallow: Since May, Mark Menning has watched the price of maple syrup soar to $6 a pound—up from $2 a pound a year ago. That's a problem for Menning, since the maple syrup is a key ingredient in the cookies his San Francisco-based Lotus Bakery supplies to some Whole Foods Market (WFMI) outlets and Bay Area specialty grocery stores.

Add in rising costs for everything from oil to flour, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Says Menning: "These price increases can make or break you."

What's going on? Is there a shadowy syrup cartel manipulating prices? Has someone figured out how to turn maple sap into fuel? Not quite. Unfavorable weather in Quebec—the source of 80% of the world's maple syrup—have depressed output to a 10-year low. At the same time, demand for maple syrup, which is slightly lower in calories than cane sugar and corn syrup, has been growing in recent years, as more Americans seek alternatives to processed and artificial sweeteners.

A Scarcity of Sap
Blame it on global warming, perhaps. But for the past three years, Quebec has seen cold winters turn very quickly into warm springs, which played havoc with sap collection. (Under ideal conditions, temperatures rise during the day and then dip back below freezing at night. This pattern encourages sugar maples to release their sap). That has cut sap production season in half, to two to three weeks. Quebec's output slipped to 58.7 million tons this year, down from 61.7 million in 2007 and 86.4 million tons in 2004.

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Vermont Discontinues Maple Syrup in Cans By Some Manufacturers

These can are still good! Pure Vermont Maple Syrup - This Vermont Maple Syrup Package In Vermont is Certified by the Maple Sugar Makers Assn. Cans

Vermont discontinues sale of maple syrup tins
Thursday October 9, 2008
Vermont Public Radio News
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is recommending that certain metal maple syrup cans be discontinued because of their odor.

Officials tested the cans and determined the smell came from petroleum compounds.
The Health Department said the health risk is negligible.

The distributor of the cans, New England Container Company of Swanton, has agreed stop selling the pint and quart containers.

Officials say less than 15 percent of syrup produced this year in Vermont has been packaged in these metal cans. They were distributed to various states and Canada.

But the Agency says protecting the purity of Vermont's signature crop is paramount.

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