Background

Working with experienced maple sap harvesters, the Neqotkuk Wellness Center had plans to develop a small-scale sugar bush operation as part of a wellness and economic development initiative.  The project was designed to support traditional Aboriginal outdoor activities for community residents, and serve as a means to bring traditional medicines and related products to the community.  The center also hoped to generate jobs and revenue in the community.   

The Neqotkuk Wellness Center engaged Think Stiletto to lead a feasibility review to determine the viability of such an initiative.   

Process

Think Stiletto conducted market research on the maple syrup industry , conducted outreach to potential funders and partners, and contracted a land survey to establish a tree inventory and determine the potential size of the operation.

Based on the information gathered, we identified potential partners, developed an overview of the financial and operational requirements for the viability of the project, and delivered a launch plan for the positioning and distribution of the product.

Outcomes

The report Think Stiletto prepared confirmed an opportunity for the band to establish a maple syrup operation. The Tobique Band Council has agreed to proceed with the project and is in the process of preparing its development strategy for the 2016 maple syrup season.