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Sugarhouse Certification

Sugarhouse Certification Program

VMSMA’s Sugarhouse Certification Program is a program created by sugar makers, for sugar makers that interprets the current food safety rules for maple operations. While participating in the Certification Program is voluntary, following food safety rules is required for sugar makers. We've worked to anticipate barriers to participating in this program, from cost to templates for processes and procedures. You'll find all of the details below, but feel free to call Ellie Palmer, Certification Manager, at 603-828-7013 with any questions! Certification is voluntary and is good for three years before you need to re-Certify.

How Does the Program Work?

  1. Once you send us your Application and payment, we’ll assign your Certifier, who will schedule time complete the offsite work - documentation review and answering any questions specific to your operation.
  2. Then your Certifier will schedule a site visit to work through the rest of the Checklist.
  3. Once the site visit is complete, the Certifier will send us their notes and we'll send you a list of any corrective actions needed to finish up your Certification.
  4. To better illustrate the steps from "I'm interested in the Certification Program" to "I'm ready to sign up" to "I'm Certified!", we've created a simple flowchart to show you how it all works. Click here to see the flowchart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here to read the current FAQs and please be in touch if you have more questions!

What Does Certification Cost?

Prices below are for our three year Certification. 

# of Taps Cost of Certification
1- 1,999 $100
2,000 - 3,999 $200
4,000 - 5,999 $300
6,000 - 7,999 $350
8,000 - 9,999 $400
10,000 - 14,999 $450
15,000 - 19,999 $550
20,000 - 29,999 $650
30,000 - 39,999 $750
40,000 - 49,999 $850
50,000+ $950

Certification Checklist

VMSMA’s Sugarhouse Certification Checklist focuses only on the manufacturing of pure maple syrup and pure maple confections (maple cream, maple candy and maple sugar). 

The Checklist references sections of Title 21 (Food and Drugs), Part 117 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) that define current good manufacturing practices, hazard analysis and risk-based preventative controls for human food. You can find the entire text of Chapter 21, Part 117 online here.

Certification Resources & Appendices

Many of you will already have documentation and a sugarhouse operational manual, some of you may not. If you're starting from scratch, or looking to compare your procedures to our templates, review our templates and other resources. The majority of our templates are available as Word documents so that you can download them or print them and edit them to fit the needs of your sugarhouse. Click here to see the full list.

I'm Ready! What do I do now?

  1. Once you're ready to apply for Certification, complete the Application, save it as a pdf on your computer, and either email it our Certification team ( or mail it to us at VMSMA, PO Box 662, Lyndonville, VT 05851. Once the application is received, we will email you an electronic invoice.
  2. In order to participate, you must be a current VMSMA member. If you have not paid for your current calendar year VMSMA membership, you can pay for your current membership fees online. Just log into your member profile on the VMSMA website
  3. Not a VMSMA member yet? You can join online, either as a paid and voting VMSMA member or by becoming a member at the Friend of Vermont Maple level. Create a new membership through the VMSMA website and enjoy all the benefits and support of the Association!



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