In the early 1920s, Quebec’s maple industry was in disarray. A powerful group of business interests controlled the vital wholesale market and offered producers a meager 4¢ or 5¢ a pound for their maple syrup—“take it or leave it.”
To resolve this dilemma, Quebec’s agriculture minister, the Honorable Jos.-Edmond Caron, instructed Cyrille Vaillancourt, head of the ministry’s apiculture and maple syrup department, to find a solution. Working in collaboration with J.-Arthur Paquet, manager of Coopérative Fédérée de Québec, Vaillancourt recruited 17 producers from Saint-Prosper, Saint-Zacharie, Sainte-Rose, Saint-Philibert, Saint-Benjamin, and Sainte-Aurélie to launch a cooperative in 1924 in order to test the viability of the concept.
The cooperative was officially incorporated on May 2, 1925, as “Les Producteurs de Sucre d'Érable de Québec.”
1925 : On May 2, 102 producers from Dorchester and Mégantic Counties form “LES PRODUCTEURS DE SUCRE D’ÉRABLE DE QUÉBEC,” a cooperative created to stand up to the monopoly of buyers whose demands are jeopardizing the maple syrup market. Together, they put in place structures for collecting, storing, and marketing maple syrup.
1927 : The cooperative signs its first contract for United States sales with John G. Paton & Co. Inc. on August 25.
1932 : The cooperative receives its largest-ever order for sales outside Quebec—from England.
Maple butter, a new product produced at the Plessisville processing plant, goes on the market—the only product of its type that can be labeled “pure.”
1933 : The cooperative offers two national brands: Citadelle, with lighter, more flavorful syrup, sugar, and butter products, and CAMP, which features a more pronounced flavor and more intense color.
1934 : A brand new product is introduced: Maple Concentrate, a syrup with a stronger aroma.
1950 : LES PRODUCTEURS DE SUCRE D’ÉRABLE DE QUÉBEC celebrates its 25th anniversary.