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Sam Cutting IV: Vermont's maple industry leader speaks

We are sitting on a lot of inventory. I'll do my best to sell it all. I will work on selling more syrup with our new web site, with additional marketing on Google and other places. I really don't see the price going down. however. This is because making maple syrup is labor and energy intensive. With all the costs of production, the price really can't go much lower.

Varricchio: Does (or can) Vermont actually sell all the gallons of syrup it produces?

Cutting:This is a difficult question that I struggle with. I am trying to sell more syrup since there is so much out there, but it seems that people only need so much syrup. Most people only use maple syrup for the their pancakes and waffles and people don't eat pancakes and waffles all that often. As with many of our products, maple syrup seems to be something people use only for special occasions.

I would love to expand our recipes and get people to use maple syrup for cooking and for other uses such as on hot cereal, in recipes, on grapefruit and as a marinade for meat. I think it may be difficult to move all the syrup Vermont has produced during the past two years. Part of the reason there is so much syrup is that there are more trees being tapped and technology has expanded production.

As we recently saw, there was record production in a warm year and record production in a cold year. Technology and expanded tapping have both contributed to this surplus and it remains to be seen if we can move all this syrup.

Varricchio: Does Dakin Farm have any numbers it can report: gallons sold, etc.? Did you hire full- or part-time employees to help this year (over last year)?

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