Labelling Requirements for Maple Products

Important Notice

On December 14, 2016, amendments to nutrition labelling, list of ingredients and food colour requirements of the Food and Drug Regulations came into force. Regulated parties have a five (5) year transition period to meet the new labelling requirements.

Consult the Former – Labelling Requirements for Maple Products for information on the former requirements.

On this page

Overview

For the purposes of the information below, maple products (definition) include both maple syrup (definition) and maple products other than maple syrup (for example, maple sugar, soft maple sugar, maple butter and maple taffy).

This section summarizes the labelling requirements that apply to imported maple products, as well as those that are manufactured, processed, graded, packaged or labelled in Canada for interprovincial trade and for export. In some cases, the labelling requirements would also apply when these products are intraprovincially traded.

Maple products are subject to the provisions of the Safe Food for Canadians Act (SFCA) and the Safe Food for Canadians Regulations (SFCR), as well as those of the Food and Drugs Act (FDA) and the Food and Drug Regulations (FDR).

When sold intraprovincially, maple products are subject to the labelling requirements under the FDA and FDR, as well as specific requirements of the SFCA and SFCR that apply to prepackaged foods sold in Canada, regardless of the level of trade. Provincial regulations may also have labelling requirements that apply when these products are sold within that province.

The labelling requirements detailed in the following sections are specific to maple products. Refer to the Industry Labelling Tool for core labelling and voluntary claims and statements requirements that apply to all prepackaged foods.

Common Name – Maple Products

The common name (definition) must appear on the principal display panel of prepackaged (definition) maple products [B.01.006(1), FDR; 218(1)(a), SFCR].

Maple syrup that meets the standard set out in the Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 6 – Maple Products must use the prescribed common name of "maple syrup".

If it is a maple product other than maple syrup, an appropriate common name must be used. Examples of maple products other than maple syrup include: maple sugar, soft maple sugar, maple butter and maple taffy.

For more information, including legibility and language requirements, refer to Common Name.

List of Ingredients – Maple Products

When Packaged and Sold as Such

As per their definitions in the SFCR, maple syrup and maple products are obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the dilution or solution of a maple product in potable water. For such single ingredient foods, the common name of the product is considered to be the list of ingredients.

Sweetening agents include, but is not limited to, any food for which a standard is provided in Division 18 of the FDR. Some sweetening agents are not listed in Division 18 but may have standards prescribed by other regulations. Maple syrup has a prescribed standard under the SFCR and is an example of a sweetening agent that is not listed in Division 18. Although single-ingredient products like maple syrup are exempt from displaying a list of ingredients, if one is voluntarily included on the label, maple syrup packaged and sold as such is exempt from being declared in parentheses following the term "Sugars" in the list of ingredients [B.01.008.3(4)(a), FDR].

For example: consider a prepackaged bottle of maple syrup for which an ingredients list is voluntarily included. The list of ingredients would show:

Ingredients: Maple syrup

However, if maple syrup is combined with another ingredient such as a flavour or another non-sweetening ingredient, the maple syrup will not lose its exemption as per B.01.008.3(4)(a) of the FDR, as long as the resulting maple product:

  • uses a modified standardized common name indicating the way in which it does not meet the maple syrup standard, and
  • is packaged and sold as such.

The maple product would still be considered a sweetening agent and therefore be exempted from being grouped in parentheses following the term "Sugars" in the list of ingredients.

For example: consider the ingredient list of a prepackaged product of chipotle maple syrup. The list of ingredients will show:

Ingredients: Maple syrup, Chipotle flavour

For more information, refer to Grouping Sugars-based Ingredients.

When Used in Multi-ingredient Foods

Maple syrup falls under the definition of a sugars-based ingredient because it is considered a sweetening agent. As such, when maple syrup is used in multi-ingredient foods such as candies and biscuits, it is required to be grouped in parentheses following the term "Sugars" in the list of ingredients in descending order relative to the other ingredients in the product [B.01.008.3(1) and (2), FDR].

Maple sugar falls under the definition of a sugars-based ingredient that is a combination of monosaccharides and disaccharides, and is therefore generally required to be grouped with other sugars-based ingredients following the term "Sugars" in the list of ingredients; however, if a prepackaged product contains maple sugar as the only sugars-based ingredient, it does not have to be grouped in parenthesis following the term "Sugars" in the list of ingredients [B.01.008.3(4)(d), FDR].

For more information, refer to Grouping Sugars-based Ingredients.

Net Quantity – Maple Products

The label of prepackaged maple products, including consumer prepackaged (definition) products, must declare the net quantity in metric units, as set out in the document Units of Measurement for the Net Quantity Declaration of Certain Foods which is incorporated by reference into the SFCR. With respect to prepackaged maple syrup other than consumer prepackaged, a declaration of net quantity in metric units only applies to maple syrup that is graded in accordance with the SFCR [231(a), 232, 244, 280, SFCR].

For maple syrup, the metric net quantity must be shown in units of volume (mL, L). For maple products other than maple syrup, the metric net quantity must be shown in units of weight (g, kg). Although Canadian (previously named "Imperial") units of measure are not required on labels, they are permitted to be used in addition to the required metric units, subject to certain specifications (see Canadian Units of Measure for details).

For more information, including location, legibility and language requirements, refer to Net Quantity.

Name and Principal Place of Business – Maple Products

All prepackaged foods must include the name and principal place of business of the responsible party. This information must appear on any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container [B.01.005, B.01.007(1.1)(a), FDR; 218(1)(b), 218(2), SFCR].

For more information, including manner of declaring, please refer to Name and principal place of business.

Country of Origin – Maple Products

All imported prepackaged maple syrup and maple products in containers with a capacity of 5 L or less and 5 kg or less respectively must have a country of origin declaration present on the label. Generally, the words "Product of [Name of the country of origin]" must appear on the label. For example, prepackaged maple products from the United States imported into Canada are required to be labelled "Product of United States" [281, SFCR].

All country names must be written out in full, except for the United States which may be abbreviated to USA as it is recognized worldwide.

Note: In the SFCR, the country of origin is referred to as the foreign state (definition) of origin.

Manner of declaring

The country of origin must be declared in both official languages for consumer prepackaged (definition) foods, and at least one official language for prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged foods. It must be located on any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container. The words must be clearly and prominently shown on the label, and readily discernible and legible [B.01.012, FDR; 205(1), 206(1), 208, 245(2) and (3), SFCR].

"Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" claims

For information on "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" claims, please refer to Guidelines for "Product of Canada" and "Made in Canada" Claims.

Indicating the Province of Origin

Declarations regarding provincial origin of a product (e.g. "Product of Quebec") may be subject to specific provincial regulatory requirements. Please refer to the appropriate provincial authorities to obtain the official and most updated information.

Canadian Maple Products Packed in a Foreign Country and Re-Imported in Canada

All imported prepackaged maple syrup and maple products in containers with a capacity of 5 L or less and 5 kg or less respectively may not bear the declaration "Product of Canada" even when these are produced in Canada prior to being exported for packing in another country. In such a case, the following statement on the label would satisfy the country of origin declaration requirement: "Packed in (naming the country) from Canadian Maple Syrup".

Grade Name for Maple Syrup

Any maple syrup that is conveyed from one province to another or imported or exported must be graded and meet the applicable requirements of the Canadian Grade Compendium. In addition, the product must be labelled in accordance with the applicable grade name set out in the Canadian Grade Compendium [306(1), SFCR].

Please note that all references to the "Compendium" in this section refer to the Canadian Grade Compendium. Volume 7 of the Compendium specifies the grade requirements for maple syrup, while Volume 9 specifies the import grade requirements.

Canadian Maple Syrup

There are two grade names for maple syrup that is not imported [2, Compendium, Volume 7 – Maple Syrup]:

  • Canada Grade A
  • Canada Processing Grade

A licence holder is authorized to apply a grade name to maple syrup as identified in their licence provided it meets the grade requirements and has been graded by a licence holder [308(1)(d), SFCR].

For more information on grades, including legibility requirements and additional conditions that need to be met in order for a grade name to be applied to a food, please refer to the Grades page.

Imported Maple Syrup

Volume 9 of the Canadian Grade Compendium outlines the import grade requirements. Item 3 of the Table of Import Grade Names for Imported Food specifies the Canadian and Import Grade Names for maple syrup. If imported maple syrup meets the requirements of the Compendium for the applicable Canadian grade name in column 2 of the table, it must be labelled with the corresponding import grade name in column 3 [1(1), Compendium, Volume 9 – Import Grade Requirements].

The two grade names for imported maple syrup are [1, Compendium, Volume 9 – Import Grade Requirements]:

  • Grade A
  • Processing Grade

These grade names do not apply to maple syrup that is imported and graded by a licence holder and packaged in Canada, if it is graded in an establishment that is identified in a licence, other than an establishment where maple syrup is prepared directly from maple sap. In this case, the maple syrup must use the Canadian grade name in column 2 of the Table of Import Grade Names for Imported Food, rather than the import grade name [1(3), Compendium, Volume 9 – Import Grade Requirements].

Colour Classes of Maple Syrup

Maple syrup that is graded Canada Grade A and is sent or conveyed from one province to another or exported, or that is graded Grade A and is imported, must be labelled with any applicable colour class that is set out in Volume 7 of the Canadian Grade Compendium [325, SFCR].

Please note that all references to the "Compendium" in this section refer to the Canadian Grade Compendium.

The four colour classes for Canada Grade A maple syrup are as follows [5(1), Compendium, Volume 7 – Maple Products]:

  • "Golden, Delicate Taste" / "Doré, goût délicat"
  • "Amber, Rich Taste" / "Ambré, goût riche"
  • "Dark, Robust Taste" / "Foncé, goût robuste"
  • "Very Dark, Strong Taste" / "Très foncé, goût prononcé"

The method and criteria for the determination of colour class of maple syrup are outlined in subsection 5(2) and the Table of Colour Classes of Canada Grade A Maple Syrup in Volume 7 of the Compendium.

Note that colour classes do not exist for Canada Processing Grade or Processing Grade.

Language and type height requirements

The colour class of maple syrup that is graded Canada Grade A and is sent or conveyed from one province to another or exported, or that is graded Grade A and is imported, must always appear in both English and French [205(3)(b), SFCR].

The colour class must be declared on the container in characters of at least the minimum height that is set out in the following table, which varies according to area of the principal display surface [325, Schedule 6, SFCR].

Item Area of Principal Display Surface Minimum Character Height
1 ≤ 32 cm2 (5 inches2) 1.6 mm (1/16 inch)
2 > 32 cm2 (5 inches2) but ≤ 258 cm2 (40 inches2) 3.2 mm (1/8 inch)
3 > 258 cm2 (40 inches2) but ≤ 645 cm2 (100 inches2) 6.4 mm (1/4 inch)
4 > 645 cm2 (100 inches2) but ≤ 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 9.5 mm (3/8 inch)
5 > 2 580 cm2 (400 inches2) 12.7 mm (1/2 inch)

Lot Code

For information on the requirement for a lot code or other unique identifier for traceability purposes, consult Traceability-specific Labelling Requirements.

Please note that recommendations have been made regarding the use of potentially misleading lot codes. For additional information, please refer to the Lot Code section under Manner of Declaring on the Date Markings and Storage Instructions page.

Legibility

Mandatory information must be clearly and prominently shown on the label of prepackaged maple syrup and maple products and readily discernible and legible to the purchaser under the customary conditions of purchase and use [208, SFCR; A.01.016, FDR].

For consumer prepackaged maple syrup and maple products, the minimum type size of characters for mandatory labelling information is generally 1.6 mm in height based on the height of the lower case "o" [210, 211, SFCR]. The minimum type size for the net quantity declaration is based on the area of the principal displace surface [229(1)(a), SFCR]. Refer to Net Quantity for more information on type size requirements specific to net quantity declaration.

For additional information on type size requirements, refer to Legibility and Location.

Non-Compliant Maple Syrup or Maple Products

Any person may send or convey maple syrup or maple products other than maple syrup from one province to another or import maple syrup that does not meet the requirements of the SFCA and SFCR provided that [18(1) and (3), SFCR]:

  • a label that bears the expression "For Further Preparation Only" or "pour conditionnement ultérieur seulement" is applied to the food; and
  • the food is manufactured, processed, treated, preserved, graded, packaged or labelled by a licence holder to bring it into compliance with SFCA and SFCR requirements within three months, or a longer period as specified by the Minister at the person's written request.

Maple Syrup with Nutrient Added – Export Only

Section D.03.002 of the Food and Drug Regulations prohibits the addition of nutrients or amino acids to maple syrup or maple products sold in Canada. However the product may be produced in Canada for export trade providing the requirements of subsection 37(1) of the Food and Drugs Act are met.

Therefore, if a maple product contains added vitamin C, it should clearly indicate that vitamin C is added, by modifying the common name, adding a statement and/or a list of ingredients, subject to the regulations of the receiving country.

Maple Product Substitutes

Any maple product that is sent or conveyed from one province to another or that is imported or exported must comply with the standard set out in the Volume 6 of the Canadian Standards of Identity. If a food is likely to be mistaken for a maple product, it must comply with the applicable standard [9, 201, SFCR].

Highlighted Ingredients Claims provides information that applies to the labelling of maple substitutes and to highlighting the presence of maple ingredients.

Naming Maple Product Substitutes

A product that does not meet the standard of identity for maple syrup cannot use the common name "Maple Syrup".

For combinations of maple syrup and other products, for example, a table syrup made from sugar, water, maple flavouring and with x% maple syrup could use the common name "Table syrup with x% maple syrup", "Gourmet Syrup with x% maple syrup", or "Blended Syrup with x% natural maple syrup", where x is the percentage of maple syrup present in the product.

Table syrup made from sugar, water and maple flavor, without maple syrup, could, for example, use the common name "Table Syrup" or "Gourmet Syrup".

For more information, refer to Common Name. Maple substitutes that are not single ingredient foods must include a list of Ingredients, in compliance with the FDR. In the list of ingredients of a multi-ingredient maple product substitute, maple syrup would be required to be grouped following the term "Sugars" and placed in descending order relative to the other ingredients in the product.

Provincial Regulations on Substitutes

In the provinces of Quebec and Ontario, the provincial authorities apply regulations on maple syrup and maple products but also on the use of the word "maple" in reference to maple substitutes. For products destined for this market, it is recommended to contact these authorities to confirm the acceptability of the use of the word "maple", images related to maple or other requirements applicable to products sold within these jurisdictions.

Summary of Mandatory Labelling Requirements for Maple Syrup and Other Maple Products

General Rule

Requirements Type height/legibility Location on label Languages

Common Name (definition)

B.01.001(1), FDR

1, SFCR

Minimum 1.6 mm

Clearly and prominently shown, readily discernible and legible

208, 210(2), 211, SFCR

On principal display panel

B.01.006(1), FDR

218(1)(a), SFCR

Consumer prepackaged: Both official languages (i.e., English and French)

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged:
At least one official language

B.01.012, FDR

205(1), 206(1), SFCR

Net Quantity Declaration

Maple syrup - mL or L

Maple products – g or kg

231(a), 232, 244, 280, SFCR

All prepackaged:
Clearly and prominently shown, readily discernible and legible

Consumer prepackaged:

  • In distinct contrast to any other information on the label and numerical quantity in boldface type
  • Shown in characters of at least the minimum character height that is set out in column 2 of Schedule 6 of the SFCR for the area of a principal display surface that is set out in column 1

208, 229(1)(a), 230, SFCR

Consumer prepackaged:
On principal display panel

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged:
On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container

221, 245(2) and (3), SFCR

Consumer prepackaged:
Both official languages (i.e., English and French)

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged:
At least one official language

B.01.012, FDR

205(1), 206(1), SFCR

Grades - Maple syrup only

Interprovincial traded or exported Table Note 1:

  • Canada Grade A
  • Canada Processing Grade

Imported:

  • Grade A
  • Processing Grade

306(1), SFCR
CGC Table Note 2 Volume 7 and Volume 9

All prepackaged:
Clearly and prominently shown, readily discernible and legible

Consumer prepackaged:
Characters of at least the minimum character height that is set out in column 2 of Schedule 6 of the SFCR for the area of a principal display surface that is set out in column 1

208, 312(b), SFCR

Consumer prepackaged:
On principal display panel

312(a), SFCR

Consumer prepackaged: Both official languages (i.e., English and French)

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged:
At least one official language

205(1), 206(1), SFCR

Colour Classes - Canada Grade A or Grade A Maple syrup only

Interprovincially traded, imported or exported

  • "Golden, Delicate Taste" / "Doré, goût délicat"
  • "Amber, Rich Taste" / "Ambré, goût riche"
  • "Dark, Robust Taste" / "Foncé, goût robuste"
  • "Very Dark, Strong Taste" / "Très foncé, goût prononcé"

325, SFCR
CGC Table Note 2 Volume 7

Characters of at least the minimum character height that is set out in column 2 of Schedule 6 for the area of a principal display surface that is set out in column 1

325, SFCR

Both official languages (i.e., English and French)

205(3)(b), SFCR

Name and Principal Place of Business

B.01.007(1.1)(a), FDR

218(1)(b), SFCR

All prepackaged:
Clearly and prominently shown, readily discernible and legible

Consumer prepackaged:
Minimum 1.6 mm

208, 210(2), SFCR

On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container

B.01.005, FDR

218(2), SFCR

At least one official language (i.e. English and/or French)

B.01.012(9), FDR

205(1), 206(1), SFCR

Country of Origin

Required for the following:

  • any imported prepackaged maple syrup whose net quantity is 5 L or less; and
  • any other imported prepackaged maple product whose net quantity is 5 kg or less.

281, SFCR

All prepackaged:
Clearly and prominently shown, readily discernible and legible

Consumer prepackaged:
Minimum 1.6 mm

208, 210(2), SFCR

On any part of the label other than solely on the bottom of the container

245(2) and (3), SFCR

Consumer prepackaged:
Both official languages (i.e., English and French)

Prepackaged other than consumer prepackaged:
At least one official language

B.01.012, FDR

205(1), 206(1), SFCR

Nutrition Labelling Refer to Nutrition Labelling. Refer to Nutrition Labelling. Refer to Nutrition Labelling.

Table Notes

Table Note 1

A Canadian grade name is also used for imported maple syrup that is graded by a licence holder and packaged in Canada, if it is graded in an establishment that is identified in a licence, other than an establishment where maple syrup is prepared directly from maple sap.

Return to table note 1  referrer

Table Note 2

The abbreviation CGC means Canadian Grade Compendium.

Return to table note 2  referrer

Definitions

Common Name

With respect to maple products, common name is defined as:

Consumer Prepackaged

Consumer prepackaged, in respect of a food, means packaged in a container (definition) in the manner in which the food is ordinarily sold to or used or purchased by an individual — or in which the food may reasonably be expected to be obtained by an individual — without being repackaged, to be used for non-commercial purposes [1, SFCR].

Container

Container means an outer receptacle or covering that is used or to be used in connection with a food. It includes a wrapper and a confining band but does not include a conveyance (definition) or any container that is an integral part of a conveyance [1, SFCR].

Conveyance

Conveyance means a vessel, aircraft, train, motor vehicle, trailer or other means of transportation, including a cargo container [2, SFCA].

Foreign State

Foreign state includes a WTO Member as defined in subsection 2(1) of the World Trade Organization Agreement Implementation Act [1, SFCR].

Maple Product

Maple product means a food that is obtained exclusively by the concentration of sap from trees of the genus Acer or the concentration of maple syrup [1, SCFR].

Maple Syrup

The syrup obtained exclusively by the concentration of maple sap or by the dilution or solution of a maple product in potable water [1, Canadian Standards of Identity, Volume 6 – Maple Products]

Person

Person means an individual or an organization as defined in section 2 of the Criminal Code [2, FDA; 2, SFCA].

A person may therefore be an individual or an organization, and may include a consumer, a manufacturer, a retailer, an importer, a restaurant, any other commercial or industrial enterprise, an institution such as a school or hospital, and anyone else who sells, uses, or buys a food.

Prepackaged

Prepackaged, in respect of a food, means packaged in a container (definition) in the manner in which the food is ordinarily sold to or used or purchased by a person (definition), and includes consumer prepackaged (definition) [1, SFCR].

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