CERTIFIED ORGANIC MAPLE SYRUP
What makes maple syrup organic or different than pure maple syrup? Pure maple syrup can be labeled as such if it is maple sap that has been boiled to a concentrate of 66.5 to 67 brix sugar. Processing agents such as defoamers (during boiling) and diatomaceous earth (for filtering) can be used. No other flavorings or ingredients are added to the maple syrup.
Organic maple syrup is made the same way. However, the defoaming agent used must be an “organic certified” product, and we use organic safflower oil. Our filtering aid is a food grade diatomaceous earth, none of which is organic certified, so we can not be 100% organic. It is an allowed processing agent so our syrup can only be certified “organic.”
The NOS (National Organic Standards) are set by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). We hire an approved organization to verify that we comply with the NOS. We are certified through MOSA (Midwest Organic Services Association). They inspect and certify our entire maple operation from the trees right on through the production, bottling, and labeling. Criteria as follows:
1. Maple woods must have a forest management plan consistent with sustainable agriculture.
2. No synthetic fertilizers or pesticides are applied to the woods. A buffer is used to separate the organic areas from non-organic areas. These buffer areas are inspected by our certifier.
3. The number of taps vs. size of tree is regulated, tap holes 5/16” or smaller.
4. Vacuum used on collection lines is limited to a maximum level at the tree and at the source.
5. The cleaning agents used must be approved and a written procedure is required that shows we have rinsed the equipment to remove any residues of said cleaning agents. This must be kept in a log.
6. No lead soddered equipment is allowed in the production of the maple syrup.
7. A tracking system is in place to track our production from sap collection to the point of sale on each container of syrup.
8. Labeling of product is inspected to meet the requirements of organic certification.
We have chosen to be certified organic producers because we feel these requirements are important. The extra cost and work involved to comply with these requirements assures our customers they are getting the finest product we can produce.