Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek

Maple Syrup: Canada's Sticky Gold

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    In the summer of 2012, the Federation of Québec Maple Syrup Producers suffered a theft of 6 million pounds of syrup, or 60 percent, from its Strategic Reserve. The investigative trail soon led to free-market renegades inside and outside the province who opposed what was, in their view, a Communist program.

    Pictured, Philippe Turcotte, a supporter of the Federation, at his sugar farm in Drummondville, Québec.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    At Turcotte’s sugar farm, a tapped maple syrup tree, which is part of a larger system of tubes that channels to small shacks in the woods.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Inside one of the shacks, which filters all the incoming syrup.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Turcotte tests the purity of one of his maple syrup samples.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    The Federation’s new warehouse in Laurrierville, Québec.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Etienne St. Pierre with Julienne Bossé.

    Prosecutors have charged 22 suspects, including St. Pierre, who is accused of knowingly possessing and trafficking the stolen syrup. St. Pierre is out on bail and says he had nothing to do with the theft.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    St. Pierre’s New Brunswick storage facility.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    "When the Quebec police came to hunt for stolen syrup at S.K. Export, Julienne Bossé gave them the traditional, New Brunswicker one-finger salute."

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    St. Pierre at his warehouse.

    Photograph by Daniel Shea for Bloomberg Businessweek