Wisconsin ranks 4th in the nation behind Vermont, New York and Maine in production of maple syrup. In 2014, Wisconsin producers yielded 200,000 gallons of maple syrup, contributing 6.2 percent of the country’s total maple syrup supply. The 2014 crop was valued at about $3.2 million.
What are the rules for collecting maple sap and making maple syrup for sale in at a farmers’ market? Individuals in Wisconsin who tap their own trees, collect the sap, and concentrate the sap into syrup, may sell maple syrup from the farm, door-to-door, or at a farmers’ market. No license is required as long as your other sales are limited to fruits and vegetables, honey, cider, and sorghum, in addition to the maple syrup. You may not sell other products, such as bakery items, even if you have a licensed bakery. The sap must be collected, concentrated and bottled in a way that assures food safety, and the product must be fully labeled. If you are selling at farmers’ markets but want to sell bakery items or other things not on the list, then you would need a retail food establishment license. For questions on retail licenses contact the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) licensing consultants: 608-224-4923 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What if you only want to sell maple syrup or concentrated maple sap to another processor for further processing? In addition to direct retail sales, processors who produce pure maple syrup and concentrated sap and sell these products wholesale to other processors for further processing are exempt from having a food processing plant license as long as their gross receipts for wholesale are less than $5,000 per year. Maple syrup processors must register their business at no cost with DATCP using the maple sap processor registration form (F-fd-346).
What if you would like to sell to a local grocery store or restaurant? In order to sell maple syrup that you produce to a local grocery store, restaurant, or other institution, you must produce the maple syrup in a commercial facility under a food processing plant license. DATCP has outlined Facility Requirements for Processing Maple Syrup and other Maple Products. Contact DATCP licensing consultants: 608-224-4923 or email@example.com for information on obtaining a food processing plant license.
What are the requirements for flavored and infused syrups? Increasingly popular are maple syrups infused with flavors such as hot chili pepper or cinnamon. Only water, salt, chemical preservatives, and de-foaming agents may be added to maple syrup for the finished product to be considered ‘maple syrup’. Additional ingredients may be added but they must be evaluated for safety. Ingredients that are added may infuse the syrup with more than just flavor; if somehow water is added to the syrup then there is a risk of Clostridium botulinum toxin forming in the product. Each flavored or infused syrup has to be evaluated for safety. DATCP has information readily available.
Enjoy! And stay food-safe. Barb