Updated Dec 30, 2022, 8:50am EST
North America

Some of the world’s most on-brand stockpiles


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The News

Canada seems to have got through its holiday baking period without incident — thanks to its national butter reserve.

The massive stockpile is stored at a Montreal warehouse, maintained by the Canadian Dairy Commission, and holds so much butter that every citizen could receive one pound each, according to the Financial Post. That means the stockpile is so large it could weigh as much as 39 million pounds — or the same as 2,500 elephants.

Here are some other prized products hoarded by countries around the world.

Two sticks of butter are shown served on a plate.
Adobe Stock/Tashka2000
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The Reserves

Strategic pork reserve

Pork products in Borough Market.
Wikimedia Commons/Rudolph.A.furtado

China is the world’s largest pork consumer, so it makes sense that the country holds on to a stockpile of the meat in case of emergencies. Earlier this year, Chinese authorities tapped into the reserve in the face of skyrocketing pork prices.


Frozen fish stockpile

An Iraqi vendor shows different kinds of fish to customers at fish market at in Najaf, Iraq November 30, 2022.
REUTERS/Alaa Al-Marjani

In 2019, the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority announced they would stockpile 1,000 metric tons of frozen fish, enough to cover the country’s needs in the event of a shortage during monsoon season.

Global Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve

Maple syrup cans at Jean Lesage International Airport. Quebec, Canada
Wikimedia Commons/Luis Bartolomé Marcos

It’s not just butter Canada is hoarding. Capable of holding nearly 100 million pounds of maple syrup, Canada’s famous reserve was the subject of a months-long heist in 2011 and 2012. Canada exports 83% of the world’s maple syrup, and thanks to the stockpile, there are rarely global shortages.

A warehouse of unhusked rice

Farmers farming on rice terraces. Ban Pa Bong Piang Northern region in Mae Chaem District Chiangmai Province
Adobe Stock/Thirawatana

In a bid to ensure food security after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam stockpiled 270,000 metric tons of rice. Ensuring the country’s rice stores are well-stocked is a common move in Vietnam: In 2021, the government purchased and stockpiled crops from farmers who saw their sales slashed by pandemic restrictions.

The kimchi storehouse

People prepare kimchi in this photo from Nov. 2020.
Wikimedia Commons/Anattadairy

With climate change hitting cabbage supplies, South Korea plans to establish two warehouses capable of storing ten thousand tons of cabbage and pickling 50 tons of kimchi daily. The warehouses, as large as three football fields, are expected to be complete in 2025 to avoid a shortage of the spicy side dish eaten daily by many Koreans.