Lawmakers Ponder Changes To Maple Grading

02/19/13 6:06AM

AP/Toby Talbot
Different grades of maple syrup are displayed in East Montpelier, Vt. Vermont lawmakers are considering whether to drop the state's traditional maple labeling system in favor of an international one.

Vermont lawmakers are wrestling with the question of whether to drop the state's traditional maple syrup-labeling system in favor of an international one.

The change pits tradition versus a desire to be a bigger player in world markets. Vermont is the Number 1 maple syrup producer in the U.S.

Gone would be labels such as fancy, grade A medium amber and grade B. In their place would be several types sharing a grade A label, with descriptive phrases added.

The changes could be made unilaterally by the state Agency of Agriculture, but it has asked for backing in the form of a legislative resolution.

The state Senate last week passed the measure and sent it to the House.

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