Vol. 148, No. 26 — June 28, 2014

Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations

Statutory authority

Canada Agricultural Products Act

Sponsoring agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT

(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)

Executive summary

Issues: The current Maple Products Regulations (MPR) can potentially lead to consumer confusion in regard to dark and stronger-tasting maple syrups that are graded as Canada No. 2 rather than Canada No. 1. It is therefore possible for consumers to view these syrups as lower quality in comparison to the coloured ones graded as Canada No. 1, when this is not the case. As well, consumers expect maple syrup to be produced solely from maple sap. The proposed amendments would reinforce this requirement in the MPR, although it is not currently erroneous. In addition to these colour and grading issues, the current MPR standards for colour and grading do not align with those of the United States. These proposed amendments would assist in harmonizing them. Industry further expressed a concern with maple syrup crystallization and requested modifications to the MPR to assist in preventing it. Finally, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) proposes amendments that would facilitate the traceability of maple syrup in the event of a food recall. Although the CFIA can currently do so, the proposed amendments would greatly enhance the speed with which the CFIA can conduct necessary recalls.

Description: To address potential consumer confusion in regard to the grading of dark and stronger-tasting maple syrups, as well as the alignment of Canadian and U.S. colour and grading standards, the proposed amendments would replace the current grading system with two new grade names and standards, Canada Grade A and Canada Processing Grade, as well as four new colour classes for Canada Grade A maple syrup: Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust and Very Dark Strong. Two grade names, namely Grade A and Processing Grade, are being proposed, and the same four colour descriptors applicable to Grade A would be applicable to Canada Grade A for imported maple syrup not processed in a federally registered establishment. Concerns about the prevention of crystallization of maple syrup would be addressed with the introduction of a maximum soluble solid content of maple syrup into the MPR maple syrup grading requirements section, while the introduction of the term “exclusively” would be introduced into the definition of maple syrup to reinforce the understanding that maple syrup is to be produced solely from maple sap. Traceability would be enhanced by the introduction of proposed requirements to assign production codes and/or lot numbers to maple syrup.

To provide time for industry to accommodate these changes, there would be a two-year implementation period.

Cost-benefit statement: The costs associated with the proposed MPR amendments were based on industry and Government estimates. The net present value (NPV) from the preferred regulatory option (flexible option) is estimated at a present value of $1.539 million and $219,165 annualized. Compliance costs to the industry were estimated at a present value of $1.152 million and $164,140 annualized. The costs would mainly result from the need to buy new equipment or to upgrade existing equipment and conduct training to learn the revised or new regulatory requirements. The total administrative costs to industry are estimated at a present value of $366,796 and $52,223 annualized. These costs include labour costs to review the new or revised requirements in order to learn them as well as additional internal approval processes and record keeping. The overall costs to the CFIA associated with the implementation of the proposed amendments to the MPR are estimated to be $19,671, and $2,801 annualized average. The potential quantifiable benefits derived from these amendments would include better export market access, a fair and efficient domestic marketplace and higher consumer confidence in maple products.

“One-for-One” Rule and small business lens: The “One-for-One” Rule applies because the proposed amendments to the MPR would impose new administrative costs on the industry and are considered an “IN” under the Rule. A total of 207 businesses (all sizes, federally registered) in the maple industry would be affected by the proposed amendments. Additional administrative costs would arise solely from labour costs related to the time spent by employees on activities related to record keeping.

Estimated administrative burden costs were based on information provided by industry. The annualized average of incremental administrative costs potentially imposed on all sizes of maple businesses would be $52,223 (in 2012 dollars) and the annualized average administrative cost per business would be $256 (in 2012 dollars).

The small business lens applies to these proposed amendments because they would impose additional costs on small businesses in the industry. These proposed amendments would likely impact the 204 federally registered small businesses. The estimated annualized increase in total industry costs (compliance and administrative) would be $158,250 (in 2012 dollars) for all affected small businesses and the average cost per small business would be $780 (in 2012 dollars). The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period was valued at $1.111 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 204 affected small businesses. There are 3 affected federally registered medium-sized maple businesses.

Domestic and international coordination and cooperation: The International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), composed of state and provincial maple associations in the United States and Canada, maple packers, maple equipment manufacturers, other maple businesses and individuals, developed and submitted a proposal to revise the grading and classification systems and labelling requirements for maple syrup to facilitate product marketing. The IMSI has been working for the past several years to develop common grading standards for the United States and Canada — the only two commercial mapleproducing countries. The United States is currently developing a similar regulatory amendment for U.S. federally regulated maple syrup producers.

Background

In Canada, grade and quality standards for maple syrup prepared in federally registered establishments are subject to the Maple Products Regulations (MPR) managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Intra-provincial marketing of maple syrup is regulated by maple syrup-producing provinces, namely Quebec and Ontario. Although other provinces such as Nova Scotia and New Brunswick also market maple syrup intra-provincially, they are under the purview of the Food and Drugs Act. Apart from Canada, only one other jurisdiction worldwide produces maple syrup products, the United States. The federal U.S. government and various maple product-producing states regulate maple syrup standards. These standards currently differ from Canadian regulatory requirements, yet Canada exports significant amounts of maple syrup to the United States.

In 2011, the Canadian maple syrup industry produced 8.6 million gallons of maple syrup, valued at $349.5 million, up 20.1% from 2010. Export shipments at the time totalled $221 million, of which $130 million (59%) went to the United States. Canada also has two other large export markets, the European Union ($42 million) and Japan ($23 million). Quebec producers at the time accounted for 90% of the production and almost all exports.

The Canadian and U.S. maple product industry has raised some concerns regarding the MPR. To address these concerns, the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI), composed of provincial and state maple associations in Canada and the United States, maple packers, maple equipment manufacturers, and other maple businesses and individuals, developed and submitted a proposal to modify grading, classification systems and labelling requirements under the MPR in order to facilitate marketing of maple syrup products. The proposal indicated that the MPR currently do not allow for industry to market maple syrup products as they would like to and that there exists some difficulties with current descriptive terms. For trade purposes, there is also a pressing need to align Canadian requirements with U.S. regulatory requirements. Following submission of this proposal to Senator Nancy Greene Raine in 2012, the Senator called upon the Government of Canada to modify the MPR accordingly.

Although there are 7 500 maple syrup establishments in Canada, only 3% (207 — 204 small and 3 medium) are federally registered, and, therefore, subject to the MPR. For federally registered establishments, the CFIA verifies that maple syrup and maple products (e.g. maple sugar, maple candy, maple butter, maple toffee) are safe and wholesome and are properly prepared, packaged and labelled according to the MPR. The CFIA also verifies that these products are eligible to be traded inter-provincially and exported bearing the applicable Canada grade name.

The MPR currently set out three grade names (Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, Canada No. 3) with associated colour classes (Extra Light, Light, Medium, Amber, Dark).

Issues

Issues and concerns raised with the MPR by industry are not related to the actual quality of maple syrup and maple products. Rather, they are related to market (descriptive term usage) and trade.

According to the IMSI, consumers have indicated that purchase decisions related to maple syrup are based on its colour and taste. This poses a marketing challenge for the maple syrup industry, since the MPR currently requires that dark and stronger tasting syrups be graded as Canada No. 2 rather than Canada No. 1. The IMSI believes that this misleads consumers into thinking that these syrups are of inferior quality to the lighter coloured ones graded as Canada No. 1, when such is not the case. The amendments therefore propose to simply revise the grading system in a manner that would allow all colours of maple syrup to be perceived as equally pure and valuable, provided they meet the taste and quality standards.

In addition to these concerns about descriptive colour and grading terms, the IMSI outlined two other concerns with the current MPR definition of maple syrup. First, the IMSI indicated that consumers expect maple syrup to be produced solely from maple sap. Although the current MPR definition of maple syrup is not erroneous in this regard, the IMSI requested that it be adjusted to further reinforce this perception. The proposed amendments would do so. The IMSI also outlined concerns with the crystallization of maple syrup and expressed a wish to modify the MPR in a manner that would assist in preventing it. The amendments therefore propose to add a maximum soluble solid content to the grading requirements for maple syrup.

A further industry issue addressed by this regulatory initiative relates to Canada–United States alignment of standards vis-à-vis maple syrup and maple products. Under the MPR, standards currently differ from U.S. regulatory requirements, yet Canada exports significant amounts of maple syrup to the United States. The main differences in regulatory requirements lie in the use and application of grade names and colour classes. In Canada, three grade names are used (Canada No. 1, Canada No. 2, Canada, No. 3) and four colour classes are applied (Extra Light, Light and Medium for Canada No. 1, Amber for Canada No. 2, Dark for Canada No. 3). On the other hand, the U.S. applies three grade names (U.S. Grade A, U.S. Grade B for reprocessing, substandard) with different colour classes (Light Amber, Medium Amber or Dark Amber for Grade A, no colour class for Grade B , no colour class for substandard). The proposed amendments would address these issues by modifying the grading and classification systems and labelling requirements under the MPR.

In addition, to assist the CFIA in verifying food safety and facilitating traceability of products in the event of a food recall, the proposed amendments would also add the requirement for the assignment of production codes or lot numbers to maple syrup.

Following the proposed amendments of the MPR, other consequential housekeeping amendments would be required in keeping with drafting practices.

Objectives

These proposed amendments would

Description

Grading and colour

The proposed amendments would replace the current grading system with two new grade names and standards, Canada Grade A and Canada Processing Grade, as well as four new colour classes for Canada Grade A maple syrup, namely Golden Delicate, Amber Rich, Dark Robust and Very Dark Strong. No colour descriptors are proposed for the Canada Processing Grade. Two grade names, namely Grade A and Processing Grade, are being proposed, with the same four colour descriptors applicable to Grade A as applicable to Canada Grade A, for imported maple syrup not processed in a federally registered establishment.

Grading requirements would also be amended to add a maximum soluble solid content of maple syrup.

Definition of maple syrup

The proposed amendments would modify the current MPR definition of “maple syrup” by adding the word “exclusively,” consistent with the definitions of “maple product” and “maple sap” and the grading requirement for maple syrup (currently found in paragraph 5(1)(a) of the MPR). This would clarify that syrup would be obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the solution or dilution of a maple product other than maple sap in potable water.

Traceability

The proposed amendments would add the requirement to assign production codes and/or lot numbers to maple syrup.

Miscellaneous amendments

Some miscellaneous consequential housekeeping amendments to the MPR are also proposed in keeping with current drafting practice, for example following the repeal of the definition of “grade” as a result of changes to section 4 prescribing grade names, and the revision to subsection 10(6) to clarify that grade names only apply to maple syrup.

These consequential amendments would not impose any new regulatory requirements or place additional burden on industry, Government or consumers, as they are administrative in nature.

Transitional provisions

A proposed two-year transition implementation period following the coming into force of these amendments would allow federally registered establishments to adjust to the new requirements. These establishments would be allowed to follow either the current grading system or the new grading system during the transition period. This would allow them to gradually implement the requirements in order to comply with these proposed amendments, including buying and installing new equipment and changing labels.

Regulatory and non-regulatory options considered

Deregulation was considered, but representatives of the industry expressed a desire to maintain a regulatory system that would adequately enforce the grading and labelling of products. They were of the opinion that voluntary and self-regulatory approaches would be applied inconsistently, thereby leading to inferior quality maple syrups entering the market. Deregulation was therefore not viewed as a viable option.

The status quo was also considered. However, several regulatory amendments to the MPR are required to address industry concerns as well as permit Canada to be able to align maple syrup grade names and colour standards for maple syrup with U.S. grade names and colour standards.

Harmonization of grade names and standards, as intended by this regulatory proposal, would facilitate trade between Canada and the United States and provide consumers with clearer label information. The introduction of requirements for the assignment of production codes and/or lot numbers will also assist the CFIA in confirming the removal of potentially unsafe maple syrup from the market.

This last regulatory option, as reflected in the proposed amendments to the MPR, presents minimal risk while responding to the expectations of industry stakeholders to improve maple syrup standards, grading and labelling.

The potential benefits for the maple industry in Canada of these proposed amendments outweigh the costs.

Benefits and costs

Benefits

These proposed amendments to the MPR would benefit consumers by providing them with clearer information on labels (grade name and colour), likely improving their confidence in maple syrup products and assisting them in their choice of products. The proposed amendments would also benefit industry stakeholders by enhancing export market access.

Consumers

The current grade names and colour classes may unintentionally mislead consumers in their choice of maple syrup products because of the unclear differentiation relating to grade names and colour variation. A 1994 U.S. Journal of Food Distribution Research article, “Consumer Preferences for Maple Syrup Grade Names” indicated that consumers know practically nothing about syrup grades and that this lack of understanding can cause loyal repeat customers to be disappointed in the product simply because they have purchased an unfamiliar grade (Randall E. James and Barbara H. James). Canadians are at the same risk of confusion due to the descriptive terms for grade and colour under the current MPR. Other misunderstandings are occurring with the current use of terminology. For example, a February 2014 Food in Canada article entitled “U.S. maple syrup industry wants one grading standard” indicates that Canadian consumers believe that the colour “light” indicated on labels means the product is fat-free without calories. This type of confusion or lack of understanding could result in a loss of confidence in maple products and/or disappointment in a purchase. Ultimately, this could mean unsatisfied customers and loss of future sales.

The proposed regulatory amendments are intended to address this potential for confusion and could therefore limit the potential loss of future sales. The proposed amendments would provide for grade names, including colour classes, which are more informative and reflective of currently marketed maple syrup products. Label information will reflect the new grade names and colour classes, thereby better informing Canadians.

Industry

The proposed amendments to the grading and colour classes would promote a level playing field between the Canadian and U.S. industries by eventually forming the basis for a fair and efficient marketplace once U.S. jurisdictions adopt the same standards.

International markets

Canada and the United States are the only two countries producing maple syrup in the world. Canada exports to the United States more than 59% of its production. The proposed amendments would lead the way for the eventual harmonization of North American maple syrup standards.

Costs

The costs associated with the proposed MPR amendments are based on industry and government estimates.

Government costs

Government costs are solely related to costs to the CFIA. Administrative costs for the CFIA are expected to be $5,436 (present value in 2012 dollars) to develop and translate operational guidance and communication tools and deliver training to inspection staff. Additional costs are expected to be incurred when inspection employees attend the said training ($587) and for an upgrade to the CFIA’s inspection, colour transmission and reflectance measurement instrument (Lovibond) [$2,289]. Enforcement of the proposed amendments to the MPR is intended to be conducted through the CFIA’s current inspection program system of label verification and in response to complaints or inquiries received from consumers and industry.

Any increase in the number of consumer and industry inquiries and complaints to the CFIA as a result of the introduction of the proposed amendments is difficult to predict. However, based on the CFIA’s knowledge of the industry and of maple product consumers, as well as the number of complaints normally received in a given year concerning maple products (15 to 30), the fact that more consumers would be noticing the new grade, colour classes and taste descriptions, and visible changes to the labels, it is estimated that the CFIA would incur less than $11,359 in increased compliance verification costs during the first two years.

The overall cost to the CFIA associated with the implementation of the proposed amendments to the MPR is estimated to be $19,671 ($2,801 annualized average).

Industry costs

A consultation on the proposed amendments to the MPR was conducted in December 2012 via the CFIA’s Web site. A costs and benefits questionnaire, intended to gather information on the potential incremental costs and benefits to the maple industry, was included with the consultation document. Responses received from the maple industry (federally registered and non-federally registered businesses) were evaluated and a subsequent validation questionnaire was sent out in November 2013 to confirm the assumptions and calculations that the Agency applied for the small business lens (SBL) and the “One-for-One” Rule based on their responses. Assumptions and calculations for both administrative and compliance costs were confirmed.

Costs to the industry would be mainly compliance costs arising from the need to buy new equipment or upgrade existing colour measurement equipment (Lovibond) as well as costs to train employees on the modified regulatory requirements. In 2012 dollars, the proposed amendments would result in a total compliance cost of $164,140 (annualized average) over a 10-year period.

Administrative costs arise from the effort required by industry for record-keeping activities. Administrative costs are estimated at $52,223 (annualized average) in 2012 dollars over a 10-year period.

The overall annualized average cost to the industry would then be $216,364 over a 10-year period. The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period would be valued at $1.520 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 207 affected establishments.

Cost-benefit statement
Costs and benefits

Base Year 2016 (2012 $) First Year (2012 $) Final Year 2026 (2012 $) Total PV (Constant 2012 $) Annualized Average (Constant 2012 $)
A. Quantified impacts (in dollars)
Administrative costs — programs Government $7,125 $0 $0 $0 $5,436 $774
Training costs — operations Government $770 $0 $0 $0 $587 $84
Equipment costs — operations Government $3,000 $0 $0 $0 $2,289 $326
Program delivery — enforcement costs Government $7,697 $7,697 $0 $0 $11,359 $1,617
TOTAL GOVERNMENT COSTS 1 $18,591 $7,697 $0 $0 $19,671 $2,801
Compliance costs Medium-large business $529,814 $0 $0 $0 $404,192 $57,548
Compliance costs Small business $981,343 $0 $0 $0 $748,662 $106,593
Administrative costs Medium-large business $750 $750 $750 $750 $3,981 $567
Administrative costs Small business $332 $332 $332 $332 $362,815 $51,657
TOTAL INDUSTRY COSTS 2 $1,512,238 $1,082 $1,082 $1,082 $1,519,650 $216,364
TOTAL COSTS $1,530,830 $8,779 $1,082 $1,082 $1,539,321 $219,165
B. Quantified impacts in non-$ (not applicable to this analysis)
C. Qualitative impacts
Positive impacts 3 Stakeholders impacted
Consumer confidence in domestic products Federally registered retailers, processors, packers, distributors
Promotion of level playing field Federally registered retailers, processors, packers, distributors and importers
Market share expansion Federally registered retailers, processors, packers, distributors
Eventual adoption of North American standards Exporters

Notes:

1 All government costs are estimated to be one-time costs in the year the amendments are effective, except for the program delivery enforcement costs, which are expected to cover a two-year period (2016-2017). It is assumed there would be an extra 10 complaints per year (an increase from 25 to 35). Operational costs are based on feedback from 12 sub-districts while program costs are based on expert opinions. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate; the time period used was 10 years beginning in the year of implementation of the proposed amendments.

2 Industry costs were estimated using the standard cost calculator. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate. The time period used was 10 years beginning in the year of implementation of the proposed amendments. All results are expressed in 2012 dollars.

3 Based on a literature review: A: James, Randall E. and Barbara H. Drake. "Consumer Perceptions of Maple Syrup Grades," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Food Distribution Research Society, Danvers, Massachusetts, November 4, 1992. B: Michael Farrell. "Assessing the growth potential and future outlook for the U.S. maple syrup industry" in Gold, M. A. and M. M. Hall, eds. "Agroforestry Comes of Age: Putting Science into Practice." Proceedings, 11th North American Agroforestry Conference, Columbia, Mo., May 31 June 3, 2009. C: Mintel Food and Drink Reports (December 2010). Table Sauces, Seasonings and Sweeteners. D: Thomas, M. G.; Schumann, D. R. "Chapter 14 — Syrup: Income Opportunities in Special Forest Products — Self-Help Suggestions for Rural Entrepreneurs" (1996) Publication: "AIB-666: Income Opportunities in Special Forest Products." E: Maclver, D. C., M. Karsh, N. Comer, J. Klaassen, H. Auld, and A. Fenech. 2006. "Atmospheric influences on the sugar maple industry in North America." Adaptation and Impacts Research Division (AIRD): Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada. 23 p. F: Rock, B. N. and S. Spencer. "The Maple Sugar Industry." pp. 39-42 in Rock, B. N. (Editor), 2001. "Preparing for a Changing Climate: New England Regional Overview of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change." USGCRP Publication, 88 pp. G: Chabot, B. and Childs, S. (2006). "Guidelines for Visual Color Grading of Maple Syrups." Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Cooperative Extension.

“One-for-One” Rule

The “One-for-One” Rule applies because the proposed amendments would impose new administrative costs on the industry ($52,223 annualized average in 2012 dollars over a 10-year period) and are therefore considered an “IN.” Calculations of the administrative burden costs were based on information provided by industry. Industry indicated that additional administrative costs would arise from the extra efforts required to perform activities related to record keeping, such as the creation, retention and scheduled destruction of companies’ documents, in order to retain records deemed important to establishments.

Based on the above and the results of the regulatory cost calculator, the annualized average incremental administrative costs imposed on all sizes of businesses would be $52,223 (in 2012 constant dollars) and, per business, the annualized average administrative cost would be $256 (in 2012 constant dollars).

Small business lens

The small business lens applies since the proposed amendments to the MPR impose additional costs to small businesses. As indicated in the “Background” section, these proposed amendments would impact 204 small businesses.

Additional costs to small businesses largely arise from direct compliance costs such as the need to buy or adjust equipment in order to comply with the proposed amendments, expenses related to any required training regarding the new grading system, and costs incurred to modify labels.

In addition to compliance costs, but to a lesser extent, are administrative costs incurred to meet the proposed new requirements. Additional administrative costs would arise from the extra efforts related to record keeping, such as the creation, retention and scheduled destruction of companies’ documents, in order to retain records deemed important to establishments.

Cost calculations were based on industry estimates obtained via consultation. The following assumptions were made:

Based on these assumptions and information, the estimated annualized increase in total industry costs (compliance and administrative) would be $216,364 (in 2012 dollars) for all affected small businesses and the average cost per small business would be $780 (in 2012 dollars). The estimated present value of total industry costs over the 10-year period would be valued at $1.111 million (in 2012 dollars) for the 204 affected small businesses.

Regulatory flexibility analysis statement

The amendments to the MPR would be effective in 2014.

The CFIA proposes a two-year transition implementation period following the coming into force of these amendments which would allow federally registered establishments to adjust to the new requirements. Therefore, these establishments would be allowed to either follow the current grading system or the new grading system during the transition period. This would allow them to gradually implement the requirements in order to comply with these proposed amendments, including buying and installing new equipment, and changing labels.

This option is preferred as it meets industry’s request for such a delay and, most importantly, would lessen the burden on small businesses.

  Initial option Flexible option
Short description MPR effective in 2014 MPR effective in 2016
Number of small businesses impacted 204 204
  Annualized average ($) Present value ($) Annualized average ($) Present value ($)
Compliance costs (itemize if appropriate) $122,040 $857,140 $106,593 $748,662
  Annualized average ($) Present value ($) Annualized average ($) Present value ($)
Administrative costs (itemize if appropriate) $59,140 $415,390 $51,657 $362,815
Total costs (all small businesses) $181,180 $1,272,500 $158,250 $1,111,500
Total cost per small business $890 $6,200 $780 $5,400
Risk considerations    

Note:

  1. Costs have been estimated using the TBS cost calculator.
  2. The present value was discounted using a 7% discount rate.
  3. The time period applied was 10 years beginning the year of implementation of the proposed amendments.
  4. All the results were expressed in 2012 dollar value.

Consultation

In December 2012, the CFIA consulted the public as well as industry, both federally registered and non-federally registered establishments, on these proposed amendments to the MPR. These proposed amendments included modernizing the grading and colour classes, and some corresponding label requirements, which would impact federally registered establishments only. Seventeen federally registered establishments responded while nine non-federally registered establishments responded.

The maple industry representative members of the IMSI, who represent the majority of the maple sector in both Canada and the United States, had previously developed and submitted a proposed approach for modifying the MPR. Members of the IMSI include the Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia, the New Brunswick Maple Producers Association, the Federation of Quebec Maple Producers, and the Ontario Maple Producers Association, most of which became members in 2002 when a committee was formed to review regulatory requirements for maple syrup. The IMSI proposal was finalized in 2009.

The proposed amendments to the MPR apply to federally registered establishments, which constitute 3% of all Canadian maple syrup establishments. The proposed amendments to the MPR were submitted to provincial governments responsible for the intra-provincial market of maple syrup, and, therefore, the non-federally registered sector. These proposed amendments were also submitted to the state and federal levels in the United States. Regulatory amendments are progressing significantly in the United States, while the Ontario and Quebec provincial governments await the implementation of the proposed amendments to the MPR.

Participants to the consultations included the maple industry (26), federations or associations (5), the food processing industry (other than maple), government entities (10), consumers and the general public (13), and academia (1 researcher), for a total of 55 responses. There were also 31 blank responses.

The 30-day online consultation began in November 2012 and ended in December 2012. The consultation was advertised through a news release on November 8. The CFIA used an online survey tool. However, participants were also able to complete and submit consultation responses via email, mail or fax. In addition, a memo was sent to registered maple establishments, industry and associations. Participants were asked to answer questions and comment on the following elements pertaining to the proposed MPR amendments:

  1. elements of the proposed amendments and their implementation; and
  2. the costs and benefits.
General public and consumers

Eighty-five percent of the members of the general public who participated in the consultation generally agreed with all the elements of the proposed changes. There was 92% support for one international definition for maple syrup. Seventy-seven percent of respondents supported the proposed requirement to assign a batch or lot code or code of production. Overall, the written comments received from consumers were supportive and positive.

Only 54%, approximately half of the consumers, approved the new proposed grades, colours and taste descriptors. Approximately 20% were uncertain of the proposed changes. Although most consumers had no major concerns, some were either uncertain or not in agreement with the subjectivity of the taste descriptors. These consumers felt that the current grading and classification systems are clear and that the new systems would overly simplify grading and classification.

In response to these concerns, the proposed amendments were adjusted. They now combine the colour and taste descriptors into a single “colour class,” whereby a taste descriptor is now associated with a particular colour class. A communications strategy during implementation would also address these concerns by educating consumers on the changes.

Maple industry

Data obtained from the maple industry at this time indicated a very high agreement (>80%) with the proposed amendments to the MPR, including the clarification of the definition of “maple syrup” and the addition of a requirement for a code of production or lot number. Only 8% of federally registered establishments responded to this consultation (17 of 207). A lower percentage of agreement (<54%) was expressed with respect to the grade names, new colour classes and the four taste descriptors. The maple packing establishments indicated that they did not agree with the grades and the colour classes in the proposed amendments under consultation. As for the taste descriptors, all groups were ambivalent (50%/50%).

Many of the industry stakeholder objections pertained to the additional requirement of taste descriptors for the different colours of maple syrup. Many industry respondents felt, as the majority of consumers did, that a taste descriptor would be subjective.

These objections and above-noted concerns were taken into consideration in moving forward with the proposed amendments to the MPR. In response, the proposed amendments were modified to include a colour class measurable by light transmittance. The proposed taste descriptors would not be measured but would rather be related to a specific colour class. Consumer research has confirmed that colour is the first selection criterion for consumers.

From 2001 to 2011, the IMSI developed a proposed approach to standardize the grade names and nomenclature for maple syrup in North America, and held its own industry consultations. As previously noted, this Institute is composed of the majority of the U.S. state and Canadian provincial maple associations, maple equipment manufacturers and other maple businesses and individuals. IMSI supports the proposed grade amendments to the MPR. Therefore, the representation by IMSI increases the overall support for the proposed amendments to the MPR.

Provincial governments

Sixty-three percent of provincial government representatives from maple syrup-producing provinces agreed with the proposed amendments. Most government respondents (62%–88%) also supported the proposed changes to the definition and the additional requirement for a code of production or lot number.

As with consumers and the maple industry, a lower percentage agreement (<44%) was expressed with respect to the then proposed grade names, colour classes and taste descriptors because of their subjectivity. The subjectivity of the taste descriptors was also raised by both the Quebec and Ontario governments. The proposed amendments to the MPR attempt to address these concerns by proposing that the colour classes be the measurable factor and by associating taste descriptors to a particular colour class.

Concerns were also raised regarding the proposed processing grade standard, including the allowance of off-flavours. It was expressly indicated that marketing of syrup unfit for human consumption should not be allowed. Despite the allowance of off-flavours for this proposed grade, there is no change to the health and safety requirements for maple syrup.

Regulatory cooperation

These proposed amendments would only impact federally registered establishments. Non-federally registered maple establishments are subject to provincial regulations where they exist. The intent is to have these proposed amendments in place at both the federal and provincial levels to ensure harmonization. The IMSI as well as provincial maple associations continue to strongly encourage provincial governments to align their maple syrup standards with these proposed amendments.

Officials from the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec (MAPAQ) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF) are currently discussing the IMSI’s proposed approach. They also continue to monitor the Government of Canada’s proposal to amend the MPR.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has prepared a first and second draft of its revised Maple Grades Regulations. Vermont and Maine have made changes to their state regulations in line with these proposed amendments to the MPR. New York officials are working on draft regulations and Ohio and New Hampshire are waiting for the USDA draft regulations before proceeding. The incorporation of these proposed amendments into federal regulations would be similar in Canada and the United States. Consistent regulatory progress in Canada and the United States would facilitate the adoption of a new grading system for the maple industry and provide clarity for consumers.

Rationale

These proposed amendments to the MPR require production codes and/or lot numbers to facilitate the traceability of maple syrup and the early removal of potentially unsafe maple syrup from the marketplace in the event of a food recall.

The proposed amendments would also amend the current regulatory definition of “maple syrup” by adding the word “exclusively” to clarify that “maple syrup” would mean the syrup obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the solution or dilution of a maple product other than maple sap in potable water. Products that have been significantly altered would also be excluded from this definition, notably extra thick and flavoured maple syrups, and low glycemic index syrups. The addition of the word “exclusively” also adds more clarity to the MPR since it aligns the definitions of “maple syrup” and “maple sap” with the definition of “maple product” in section 2 and with the grading requirements set out in section 5.

A maximum soluble solid content of maple syrup would also be introduced as a grading requirement in the definition of “maple syrup.” This requirement would be added to prevent crystallization of maple syrup, thereby increasing its quality. Most importantly, this addition would ensure that products derived from pure maple syrup that significantly differ from general industry-accepted norms would be excluded from the standard.

The establishment of a single processing grade for offflavoured and otherwise defective syrups will maintain high quality standards for Grade A syrup while allowing other uses for processing grade syrups such as further food processing or other non-food uses. The potential for off-flavours in the different colour classes of Grade A maple syrup available at the consumer level should be reduced as a result of these proposed amendments.

Some miscellaneous consequential housekeeping amendments to the MPR are also proposed in keeping with current drafting practice, such as the repeal of the definition of “grade” as a result of changes to section 4 prescribing grade names, and the revision to subsection 10(6) to clarify that grade names only apply to maple syrup.

All U.S. maple syrup-producing states would use the same colour classes as those proposed herein. However, grade names would be U.S. Grade A rather than Canada Grade A. Although the wording for the grade standards between both countries would be slightly different, the outcome should be comparable. There would also be slight differences between the Canadian and American definitions of maple syrup, in that Canada would continue to allow the dilution of a maple product to prepare maple syrup. However, the end product would have to respect the same minimum and maximum amounts of soluble solids content. In addition, to date, the proposed American federal and state regulations and standards do not address labelling concerns.

Moving forward with these proposed regulatory amendments presents minimal risk while responding to industry’s marketing challenges and industry’s wish to improve maple syrup standards. Furthermore, consistency in standards across North America would benefit domestic and international trade.

Implementation, enforcement and service standards

These Regulations would come into force upon registration. However, the proposed amendments would provide for a two-year implementation transition period during which registered establishments would be allowed to adjust to the new requirements.

The implementation plan for these proposed amendments to the MPR would include guidelines for inspection employees detailing the new assessment criteria for the revised standards for grades and colour classes. An internal communication strategy would also be implemented.

Routine inspection activities would remain the same with the incorporation of the revised assessment criteria. There could be an increase in grade/labelling verifications in response to an increase of consumer inquiries when new grade names are introduced and available in the marketplace. Consequently, these proposed amendments could result in a slightly increased inspection cost. However, this increase in inquiries would be mitigated through consumer education campaigns. Compliance with the grade standard as a regulatory requirement would be verified through CFIA inspection and sampling activities.

The CFIA Compliance and Enforcement Operational Policy and the Agrifood Enforcement Policy would be followed to reflect the CFIA’s current practices and protocols with respect to enforcing its legislation and enhancing and improving compliance through enforcement activities consistent with the Government of Canada’s priorities. Some minimal additional resource efforts might be required for CFIA inspection program and inspection employees to learn and apply the revised grading system based on program guidance.

Performance measurement and evaluation

These proposed amendments to the MPR would be implemented through outreach to ensure that the regulated community and consumers are aware of the new requirements and that CFIA employees are trained. Inspectors would conduct inspections, compliance verification and investigations and carry out enforcement actions. Results of the proposed amendments to the MPR could be measured by examining the number of inspections that verify the grade or label, and the number of non-compliance enforcement actions taken.

These proposed regulatory amendments contribute to the strategic outcome of the Agency: “a safe and accessible food supply and plant and animal resource base.” The proposed amendments also contribute to the Government of Canada’s strategic objectives:

Contact

Luc Rivard
Director
Consumer Protection and Market Fairness Division
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Telephone: 613-773-5487
Fax: 613-773-5795
Email: CFIA-ACIA_maple-erable@inspection.gc.ca

Small Business Lens Checklist

1. Name of the sponsoring regulatory organization:

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

2. Title of the regulatory proposal:

Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations

3. Is the checklist submitted with a RIAS for the Canada Gazette, Part I or Part II?

Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Canada Gazette, Part I   Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Canada Gazette, Part II

A. Small business regulatory design

I Communication and transparency Yes No N/A
1. Are the proposed Regulations or requirements easily understandable in everyday language? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
2. Is there a clear connection between the requirements and the purpose (or intent) of the proposed Regulations? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
3. Will there be an implementation plan that includes communications and compliance promotion activities, that informs small business of a regulatory change and guides them on how to comply with it (e.g. information sessions, sample assessments, toolkits, Web sites)? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
4. If new forms, reports or processes are introduced, are they consistent in appearance and format with other relevant government forms, reports or processes? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
No specific forms are required by these amendments.
II Simplification and streamlining Yes No N/A
1. Will streamlined processes be put in place (e.g. through BizPaL, Canada Border Services Agency single window) to collect information from small businesses where possible? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
The amendments do not modify the collection of information.
2. Have opportunities to align with other obligations imposed on business by federal, provincial, municipal or international or multinational regulatory bodies been assessed? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
3. Has the impact of the proposed Regulations on international or interprovincial trade been assessed? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
4. If the data or information, other than personal information, required to comply with the proposed Regulations is already collected by another department or jurisdiction, will this information be obtained from that department or jurisdiction instead of requesting the same information from small businesses or other stakeholders? (The collection, retention, use, disclosure and disposal of personal information are all subject to the requirements of the Privacy Act. Any questions with respect to compliance with the Privacy Act should be referred to the department’s or agency’s ATIP office or legal services unit.) Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
See previous justifications.
5. Will forms be pre-populated with information or data already available to the department to reduce the time and cost necessary to complete them? (Example: When a business completes an online application for a licence, upon entering an identifier or a name, the system pre-populates the application with the applicant’s personal particulars such as contact information, date, etc., when that information is already available to the department.) Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
See previous justifications.
6. Will electronic reporting and data collection be used, including electronic validation and confirmation of receipt of reports where appropriate? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
See previous justifications.
7. Will reporting, if required by the proposed Regulations, be aligned with generally used business processes or international standards if possible? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
See previous justifications.
8. If additional forms are required, can they be streamlined with existing forms that must be completed for other government information requirements? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
See previous justifications.
III Implementation, compliance and service standards Yes No N/A
1. Has consideration been given to small businesses in remote areas, with special consideration to those that do not have access to high-speed (broadband) Internet? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
These amendments do not impact this type of small business.
2. If regulatory authorizations (e.g. licences, permits or certifications) are introduced, will service standards addressing timeliness of decision making be developed that are inclusive of complaints about poor service? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
Authorizations are not being introduced by these amendments.
3. Is there a clearly identified contact point or help desk for small businesses and other stakeholders? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

B. Regulatory flexibility analysis and reverse onus

IV Regulatory flexibility analysis Yes No N/A
1. Does the RIAS identify at least one flexible option that has lower compliance or administrative costs for small businesses in the small business lens section?

Examples of flexible options to minimize costs are as follows:
  • Longer time periods to comply with the requirements, longer transition periods or temporary exemptions;
  • Performance-based standards;
  • Partial or complete exemptions from compliance, especially for firms that have good track records (legal advice should be sought when considering such an option);
  • Reduced compliance costs;
  • Reduced fees or other charges or penalties;
  • Use of market incentives;
  • A range of options to comply with requirements, including lower-cost options;
  • Simplified and less frequent reporting obligations and inspections; and
  • Licences granted on a permanent basis or renewed less frequently.
Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
2. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, quantified and monetized compliance and administrative costs for small businesses associated with the initial option assessed, as well as the flexible, lower-cost option?
  • Use the Regulatory Cost Calculator to quantify and monetize administrative and compliance costs and include the completed calculator in your submission to TBS-RAS.
Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
3. Does the RIAS include, as part of the Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Statement, a consideration of the risks associated with the flexible option? (Minimizing administrative or compliance costs for small business cannot be at the expense of greater health, security or safety or create environmental risks for Canadians.) Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
4. Does the RIAS include a summary of feedback provided by small business during consultations? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.
V Reverse onus Yes No N/A
1. If the recommended option is not the lower-cost option for small business in terms of administrative or compliance costs, is a reasonable justification provided in the RIAS? Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text. Detailed information can be found in the surrounding text.

PROPOSED REGULATORY TEXT

Notice is given that the Governor in Council, pursuant to section 32 (see footnote a) of the Canada Agricultural Products Act (see footnote b), proposes to make the annexed Regulations Amending the Maple Products Regulations.

Interested persons may make representations concerning the proposed Regulations within 75 days after the date of publication of this notice. All such representations must cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the date of publication of this notice, and be addressed to Rick L. Grant, Acting Director, Agrifood Division, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, 1400 Merivale Road – Tower 1, 4th Floor, Office 135, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0Y9 (tel: 613-773-6254, fax: 613-773-5692, email: CFIA-ACIA_maple-erable@inspection.gc.ca).

Ottawa, June 17, 2014

JURICA ČAPKUN
Assistant Clerk of the Privy Council

REGULATIONS AMENDING THE MAPLE PRODUCTS REGULATIONS

AMENDMENTS

1. (1) The heading before section 2 of the French version of the Maple Products Regulations (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:

DÉFINITIONS

(2) The definition “grade” in section 2 of the Regulations is repealed.

(3) The definition “maple syrup” in section 2 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

“maple syrup” means the syrup obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the dilution or solution of a maple product, other than maple sap, in potable water; (sirop d’érable)

2. Section 4 of the Regulations and the heading “GRADES AND GRADING” before it are replaced by the following:

MAPLE SYRUP GRADE NAMES

CANADIAN MAPLE SYRUP

4. The grade names “Canada Grade A” and “Canada Processing Grade” are prescribed for Canadian maple syrup and may be used only if the maple syrup meets the requirements set out in Schedule I.

IMPORTED MAPLE SYRUP

4.1 The grade names “Grade A” and “Processing Grade” are prescribed for imported maple syrup and may be used only if the imported maple syrup meets the applicable requirements for the equivalent maple syrup “Canada Grade A” and “Canada Processing Grade”, respectively.

EXCEPTION

4.2 (1) The grade names set out in section 4 for Canadian maple syrup may be used for any imported maple syrup that has been prepared in a registered establishment other than a sugar bush establishment.

(2) For greater certainty, this provision does not limit the application of section 19.

3. Paragraphs 5(1)(c) to ( f) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:

4. Section 5.1 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

5.1 Maple syrup may be graded by a grader or the operator. It may also be graded by a person designated by the operator or an employee of a registered establishment under the supervision of a grader or the operator.

5. The portion of subsection 10(6) of the Regulations before paragraph (a) is replaced by the following:

(6) Every container of maple syrup marked with a grade name or every container of maple sugar shall

6. (1) Subsection 12(1) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

12. (1) Every container of maple syrup that is graded under these Regulations shall bear a label marked

(2) Paragraph 12(3)(b) of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

7. Section 19 of the Regulations is replaced by the following:

19. (1) Only maple syrup meeting the following requirements may be imported into Canada:

(2) Only a maple product, other than maple syrup, meeting the following requirements may be imported into Canada:

(3) When imported maple syrup or an imported maple product other than maple syrup is packed, in a container that has a capacity exceeding 5 L or 5 kg, respectively, authorization in writing shall be obtained from the Executive Director for each shipment before it enters Canada and, on entry into Canada, the shipment shall be subjected to any inspection or analysis that under these Regulations is necessary to determine whether the product complies with these Regulations.

8. Schedule I to the Regulations is replaced by the Schedule I set out in the Schedule 1 to these Regulations.

9. Schedule III to the Regulations is replaced by the Schedule III set out in the Schedule 2 to these Regulations.

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

10. (1) Nothing in these Regulations prohibits the marketing of maple products in accordance with the Maple Products Regulations, as they read immediately before the day on which these Regulations come into force.

(2) This section ceases to have effect two years after the day on which these Regulations come into force.

COMING INTO FORCE

11. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.

SCHEDULE 1
(section 8)

SCHEDULE I
(Section 4 and subsection 15(1))

GRADE NAME REQUIREMENTS FOR MAPLE SYRUP

1. Maple syrup may be graded as “Canada Grade A” if, in addition to meeting the requirements set out in section 5 of these Regulations,

2. Maple syrup, other than “Canada Grade A”, may be graded as “Canada Processing Grade” if it meets the requirements set out in section 5 of these Regulations.

SCHEDULE 2
(Section 9)

SCHEDULE III
(Section 2 and paragraphs 5(1)(f) and 19(1)(c))

COLOUR CLASSES OF “CANADA GRADE A” MAPLE SYRUP

1. The determination of the light transmission of “Canada Grade A” maple syrup shall be made optically by means of

2. “Canada Grade A” maple syrup shall be regarded as in a colour class set out in Column I of the table if its percentage of light transmission is that set out in Column II.

TABLE
Item Column I


Colour Class
Column II

Percentage of Light Transmission
1 Golden, Delicate Taste (Doré, goût délicat) not less than 75.0
2 Amber, Rich Taste (Ambré, goût riche) less than
but not less than
75.0
50.0
3 Dark, Robust Taste (Foncé, goût robuste) less than
but not less than
50.0
25.0
4 Very Dark, Strong Taste (Trés foncé, goût prononcé) less than 25.0

[26-1-o]