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Updated: Fri, 27 Jun 2014 21:28:31 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Maple syrup labelling changes on tap



FILE-In this Oct. 27, 2011, file photo, bottles of maple syrup sit in a window in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermonters have grown accustomed to their �fancy� �amber� and �grade B� types of maple syrup but new consumers may not be so sweet on the terms. So the country�s largest producer of the pancake topping is thinking of doing away with those terms and adopting new international names with flavor descriptions to help consumers delineate between four different colored and flavored syrups and to match new worldwide terms. The four classifications would be golden color, delicate taste; amber color, rich taste; dark color, robust taste; and very dark color, strong taste. (© AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

FILE-In this Oct. 27, 2011, file photo, bottles of maple syrup sit in a window in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermonters have grown accustomed to their �fancy� �amber� and �grade B� types of maple syrup but new consumers may not be so sweet on the terms. So the country�s largest producer of the pancake topping is thinking of doing away with those terms and adopting new international names with flavor descriptions to help consumers delineate between four different colored and flavored syrups and to match new worldwide terms. The four classifications would be golden color, delicate taste; amber color, rich taste; dark color, robust taste; and very dark color, strong taste. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot) Toby Talbot/Associated Press

Do you prefer "golden maple syrup with a delicate taste" or "very dark maple syrup with a strong taste"?

Those are two potential descriptors Ottawa hopes Canadian syrup manufacturers will use, so customers can know exactly what they’re pouring onto their pancakes.

- AUDIO | Maple syrup producers seek better grade of labelling

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency released on Friday the new descriptors and some details about its proposed amendments to the rules governing the sale of maple syrup.

The agency said changes are needed to "modernize" the way maple syrup is classified, and that the International Maple Syrup Institute has asked for the changes.

Why? Canadian syrup sellers say maple syrups labelled "No. 1" often sell best, even though consumers generally prefer the richer taste of "Canada No. 2."

The proposed changes — which are set to be released in the Canada Gazette on Saturday — would give a better hint about the taste (many producers already include similar descriptions on their packaging.)

The changes would also align Canadian and U.S. grading systems, the agency said.

The Canadian maple syrup business is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. According to government figures, Canada produces 84 per cent of the world’s maple syrup, with the U.S. producing the rest.

Consumers and those in the maple syrup industry are being asked to weigh in until Sept. 10.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency​ is already recommending a two-year transition period to bring in any changes.

The move to change syrup regulations, it appears, is a slow pour.

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