StarTree StarTree partners visit world’s Cork Capital, Coruche

The 3rd StarTree General Assembly (GA) took place in Lisbon, Portugal, from 28 – 30 October 2013. Hosted by the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA), this biannual gathering of the partners in the StarTree Consortium was attended by 48 representatives. StarTree is an EU FP7-Collaborative Project that will show how Multi-Purpose Trees (MPT) and Non Wood Forest Products (NWFP) can be used to strengthen and diversify economic activities in rural areas.

The focus of the 3rd GA was to discuss progress and challenges relating to the data collection process for the project. StarTree is strongly rooted in applied research to provide better understanding, knowledge, guidance and tools to support the management, production and marketing of NWFP. Case studies in 14 regions across Europe will provide the project with new data and collaboration with stakeholders in each of the regions will ensure the latest scientific knowledge is considered alongside practical demands.

There is much work to be done for the data collection process but expectations are high that the final result will provide a comprehensive and comparable picture for certain non-wood forest products (NWFP) as well as an overview of the NWFPs available in each of the regions. The focus will be on 5 NWFPs to allow comparison of the data across the regions and give a comprehensive picture of certain products. However, data will also be collected on all NWFPs in each region that cannot be compared as the NWFPs are not the same in every region. A State-of-the-Art report will be produced by the middle of next year, compiled of knowledge and information already in existence and the findings acquired through the StarTree data collection process.

stone pine stand_EV_250_w credit.jpg : 24.9208984375KbThe field trip took partners to Coruche county, where they spent a day learning about the NWFP of Alentejo, the StarTree case study region in Portugal. The morning included a visit to stone pine and cork oak stands, with a presentation in the field from Forest Association manager, Conceição Santos Silva.

Then followed a visit to Europe’s largest cork mill, Amorim, with a detailed and informative visual demonstration of the cork production process, including how wine stoppers are manufactured. 

cork factory_250_w credit.jpg : 44.3154296875KbCoruche is described as the World Capital of Cork, with 50% of the county covered by cork oak. Participants spent the afternoon at the Coruche Cork Observatory, which supports and promotes research and training in the cork sector, linking universities, regional actors and businesses for innovation and economic development. Stakeholders from the Alentejo Regional Stakeholder Group (RSG) gave presentations on cork and cork products, mushrooms, pine nuts and resin and took part in a fruitful Knowledge Exhange Event during with StarTree partners on ideas and experiences about various NWFP.

StarTree is financed through the 7th Framework Programme of the European Commission under the research theme 'Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology' funded to foster a Knowledge-Based Bio-Economy (KBBE).

StarTree website: www.star-tree.eu fp7_image_125.jpg : 24.4326171875KbEuropean-Commission-new-logo_100.jpg : 23.826171875Kb

You can follow StarTree on Twitter:https://twitter.com/StarTreeProject and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/startreeproject.

More information: Robert Mavsar name.surname(at)efi.int

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