Quebec produces more than 70 percent of the world’s maple syrup and the Federation of Quebec Maple Syrup Producers is a cartel every bit as rapacious as OPEC or De Beers. The Federation is government backed and all producers must sell to them. From an excellent piece in the NYTimes:
After the spring harvest, farmers from around the province send their syrup to the federation.
…To keep prices high, the federation enforces strict quotas for the province’s 7,400 producers. Instead of flooding the market during years with bumper crops, all syrup produced beyond that amount is stored in the federation’s warehouse, which helps prop up prices by limiting supply. When seasons are lean, it releases the syrup, to maintain stable supply and pricing.
…When the federation suspects farmers are producing and selling outside the system, it posts guards on their properties. It seeks fines from producers and buyers who do not follow the rule. In the most extreme situations, it seizes production.
Addendum: The NYTimes video about rebel maple syrup producers is excellent.