Vt. hopes syrup grade changes will sweeten sales

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Associated Press

Posted on February 18, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 18 at 11:02 AM

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Would fancy grade maple syrup by any other name taste as sweet?

Vermont lawmakers are wrestling with that question as they consider 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 No. 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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