Bascom Family Farms Begins Shipping Maple Syrup Labeled With The New Grades

Starting August 1st, 2015, Bascom Family Farms, Coombs Family Farms, and Brown Family Farm began shipping maple syrup labeled in accordance to the new maple syrup grading system.  We will continue to fill orders placed before that time using old labels while quantities last.  In addition, some of our private label customers have not yet made the change, so they too will continue to receive maple syrup under the old grading system for the time being.  Once Bascom supplies of maple syrup with the old labels is exhausted, we will ship exclusively using the new grading system.

Still confused about the new maple syrup grades?  Here’s a handy chart to sort it all out:

Maple syrup grades infographic

 

New Maple Syrup Grades Rollout

New-Maple-Syrup-GradesIt’s 2015 and the New Year and the new maple syrup grades are officially upon us. While we have discussed this transition throughout 2014, this is a great opportunity to dive back into the details and ensure that your brand is fully prepared for these changes. While labels and marketing will reflect the new grade shift, the exceptional Bascom Family Farms promise remains. You can still rely on the exact same maple syrup flavor each and every time for all your products and needs.

The transition across the states

The International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) proposed these approved grade changes to improve clarity in the maple syrup industry. With the new grades in place, it’s much easier for consumers to understand the flavor of each grade. The descriptive flavors clearly outline the maple syrup scale, from the most delicate to the most hearty.

On January 23rd the USDA issued new rules for grading of maple syrup. TheseAs of January 1, 2015, Vermont producers must now use labels with the new grading system for maple syrup sold outside the state. However, maple syrup with the older grade labels can still be used within the state of Vermont until

January 1, 2017. This means that consumers may still come across the older labels (with former grades) and newer labels (with current grades) on the same shelves in the upcoming months.

New York residents will also likely see the new labels with the new grades on January 1st. New Hampshire has approved the new grades and they need to be implemented by January 1, 2016. As of December 16, 2014, the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) reported that the Canadian government has accepted the new maple syrup grading system. More specifically, the Canadian government stated that the “Maple Products Regulations have been amended” and that “the amended regulations will be published … on December 31, 2014.”

According to Emily Hogeveen, Press Secretary for the Office of Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture for the Canadian government: “The changes harmonize the definition and grading system in the United States and Canada, and give consumers more consistent and relevant information about different varieties of maple syrup.”

The grades

There are now two primary maple syrup grades with additional sub categories based on color and flavor profiles, which are outlined below and included in this clearly illustrated Maple Syrup Grades page [link to page]. To ensure that private resellers and food industry professionals are still guaranteed the exact flavor profile they need, Bascom Family Farms will still maintain our proprietary “seven-tiered” grading process.

The new grades refer directly to the color and taste of the sap that varies throughout the sugaring season. Syrups produced earlier in the season are lighter in color and subtle in flavor. The dark and robust syrups are produced later in the season. Just like it has been for generations, the process to produce maple syrup is fundamentally the same across all grades.

Remember, the new maple syrup grades only apply to pure maple syrup, not imitation breakfast syrups or other fake products. While “Grade B” no longer exists (it is replaced with Grade A Dark Color, Robust Flavor), there are still two primary grades of 100% real maple syrup that have clear and helpful descriptors:

1. Grade A (with four classifications):

This high quality pure maple syrup grade is intended for human consumption and is sold in retail markets. There are four separate designations and flavor profiles under this grade:

Golden Color and Delicate Taste: This delicate and mild flavored syrup has a pronounced golden hue. It is comparable to the former Grade A Light Amber grade.

Amber Color and Rich Taste: This amber colored syrup, which can be either light, medium, or darker in hue, has a full-bodied and rich flavor. It is comparable to the former Grade A Medium Amber or Grade A Dark Amber grades.

Dark Color and Robust Taste: Stronger and darker than the lighter grades, this has a robust and substantial flavor. It is comparable to the former Grade A Dark Amber, Grade A Extra Dark, or Grade B.

Very Dark and Strong Taste: This strongest maple syrup flavor is typically used for cooking purposes.

2. Processing Grade:

The second grade of maple syrup is suitable as an ingredient in food products, but is not permitted for retail sale. While it doesn’t meet Grade A requirements, it meets all other maple regulations and food quality/safety guidelines.

Starting off the New Year with Bascom Family Farms

As we enter 2015, this is an ideal time for grocery buyers to fully review the category and determine which sizes, grades, and types are best for the upcoming year. Private label customers should already be prepared with new labels and finalized marketing collateral for the January 1st rollout. If you need additional information or have questions about the new maple syrup grades, Bascom Family Farms is always available as a resource. Please call us at 888-266-6271 or contact us today … you can count on us!

References:

http://vtdigger.org/2013/12/10/new-maple-syrup-grading-system-debuts-jan-1/
http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/ny-nh-follow-vts-lead-as-new-maple-grades-take-eff/42263/VmY08N1iH0uxEWm2SgsKJw
http://www.internationalmaplesyrupinstitute.com/uploads/7/0/9/2/7092109/nr_-_maple_regs_cgii_mino_approved_final_en_1_4.pdf
http://www.internationalmaplesyrupinstitute.com/news–events
http://www.stowetoday.com/this_week/food/taste-this-gold/article_f4186f62-9118-11e4-8d4b-7f9f42ca1e5a.html

 

 

How Environmental Factors Affect Maple Syrup Grades

As a leading independent supplier of pure and organic bulk maple syrup and bulk maple sugar products, Bascom is dedicated to producing exact maple syrup flavor profiles in every bottle. So in spite of seasonal differences, microclimates, and other environmental factors, Bascom knows exactly how to maintain the consistency necessary for brand integrity and reliability.

maple syrup supplierPure maple syrup is produced when the sap of the sugar maple tree becomes concentrated through a process of heating and evaporation. “Sugaring weather” typically kicks off in late February or early March when the mild daytime temperatures bring melting snows while night temperatures remain below freezing. This is the ideal weather to make sap flow, and it’s when we tap our trees. Sugaring season usually lasts between 4 to 6 weeks.

While this process seems straightforward, the typical sugaring seasons seem anything but typical these days. Seasonal differences and climate changes can are at the top of the list of factors that impact maple syrup production and yield. Unseasonably warm or cold winters impact sap flow. For example, the winter of 2012 was unusually warm, causing our sugaring season to start and end early. In the second week of March, there was a heat wave (70 and 80 degrees) for four days that caused an abrupt end to the season. Just one season later, in the winter of 2013, we had our biggest crop yet with a six-week season that saw syrup production well into April. The colder nights also impacted the color of the syrup when the lower temperatures produced lighter colored syrups.

There are a variety of unpredictable external forces in the maple syrup production process, and the microclimate of the individual tree can even play a role. Air temperature does not accurately reflect the temperature of the trees (and its many diverse parts), or the soil. Larger tree trunks and branches may take much longer to thaw. If a large portion of the tree center is still frozen, sap flow can be minimal. The amount of snow also impacts the maple syrup production process. Without ample snow cover on the grounds, there is a loss in the natural insulation that protects the shallow maple roots.

maple syrup gradesBascom specifically factors many variables into its grading maple syrup process. Our proprietary “seven-tiered” grading process provides our food industry customers with the same maple syrup flavors and profiles every time. This unique process will remain in place when the new maple syrup grades go into effect at the consumer level in 2014 in Vermont and 2015 elsewhere. There will be two primary new maple grades under the International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) proposal, based on color and flavor profiles. Our Maple Syrup Grades page illustrates these maple syrup grade changes more clearly, with references to the original grades. Grading maple syrup will continue to be based on translucence, density and flavor under the new standards.

Ordering New Maple Syrup Grades Through Bascom

For the latest maple syrup grades’ news, please continue to visit our blog for updates.

When it comes to fulfilling customized requests for your maple syrup needs, Bascom has you covered. Our manufacturing and distribution facilities can handle custom packaging requests, with capabilities to pack maple syrup to your specifications. Please call us at 888-266-6271 to place an order or send us an online request or inquiry. Let Bascom be your maple source… you can count on us!

Private Label Customers: Preparing for the New Maple Syrup Grades

Bascom Family Farms is one of the largest suppliers of maple products to manufacturers, private label marketers, chefs, packers, distributors, and retailers worldwide. Our customers, along with the maple industry, are preparing for the new maple syrup grades – Bascom Family Farms stands ready to help customers navigate this transition seamlessly.

Private label maple syrup supplierIn attempts to bring about positive change in the industry, Vermont legislators recently approved the proposed International Maple Syrup Institute (IMSI) maple syrup grade changes. Current methods of grading maple syrup can be confusing, because different standards and terminology are used for each market in the United States, Vermont, and Canada. The IMSI and maple syrup industry saw this confusion as an opportunity to establish new maple syrup grades that will boost consumer clarity and provide continuity for export markets. More specifically, Vermont maple producers will be better able to compete globally in the international maple market.

Understanding the New Maple Syrup Grades Changes

There will be two primary maple syrup grades, with additional sub categories based on color and flavor profiles, according to the IMSI proposal. Our Maple Syrup Grades page illustrates these new maple grades more clearly, with references to the original grades. Bascom Family Farms will follow these new guidelines while still maintaining our proprietary “seven-tiered” grading process. This means that private resellers and food industry professionals are still guaranteed the exact flavor profile that is currently used in products. While the recipe formulations will need to accommodate the new maple grades, product quality and consistency will remain superior.

new maple- syrup gradesThroughout the year of 2014, maple producers and private resellers will have ample time to make the transition to the new maple syrup grades. Private label customers should also plan ahead for this shift and ensure all marketing collateral (i.e. labels, advertisements) are prepared in time. Additionally, the simplified new maple syrup grades should make it easier for consumers to easily identify the flavor they are looking for, whether it’s delicate or robust.

While the new maple syrup grades are planned to take effect at the consumer level starting in 2014 in Vermont and 2015 elsewhere. there may be an initial overlap period in which older and newer labels are side-by-side on the shelf. Pricing should not be affected, allowing both versions to be on the shelf simultaneously. However, it is important to note that private label customers should still plan on having all new labels on the shelves by December 31, 2014. For updates on labeling and the latest maple syrup grades news, please continue to visit this blog.

We Can Help Make the Transition to the New Maple Syrup Grades Easy

It is essential that private label customers educate their own customers about the maple syrup grade changes. Bascom Family Farms has developed an education program that retailers can leverage to facilitate customer understanding and boost maple sales. It’s also a great time for grocery buyers to fully review the category and determine what sizes, grades, and types (organic vs. conventional) are best for the organization and its future needs.

When it comes to fulfilling customized requests for your maple syrup needs, Bascom Family Farms has it covered. Our manufacturing and distribution facilities can handle custom packaging requests, with capabilities to pack maple syrup to your specifications. Please call us at 888-266-6271 to place an order or send us an online request or inquiry here. Let Bascom Family Farms be your maple source… you can count on us!