Territorial marketing via NWFP facilitates multifunctional forest management


The role of non-wood forest products (NWFP) in territorial marketing was the topic of the first cross-cutting seminar for the INCREDIBLE project. The seminar, organised by project partner ETIFOR, took place in the northern Apennines (Italy) on 10 and 11 May.

Participants during the seminar's field trip. Photo: Eduard Mauri.

The morning session was devoted to the current state of the Italian market and its trends for four NWFP: mushrooms, truffles, wild berries and cork. Common challenges are existing fiscal policies that can make Italian NWFP less competitive than those from other countries and the lack of an adapted regulation to stimulate entrepreneurship and traceability. Proposals to improve the current situation cannot be developed without accurate data.

The afternoon round table concluded that territorial marketing based on NWFP can be an important lever for multifunctional forest management. However, the quality of the product is not the keystone, rather it is the organisational capacity of the community which makes the biggest difference, as territorial marketing is a sophisticated activity.

On the second day, a field trip visited the communal forests of the Fungi di Borgotaro IGP (Indicazione geografica protetta = Protected Geographic Indication), the only European IGP devoted to a non-cultivated food product: wild mushrooms. Attendees learnt how these communal forests are managed to produce a direct revenue from mushrooms which is four to five times higher than that of wood. Moreover, territorial marketing around Fungi di Borgotaro IGP moves millions of euros in other sectors, such as tourism and gastronomy.

Mushroom picking regulation. Photo: Eduard Mauri.

A total of three cross-cutting seminars are planned over the course of the INCREDIBLE project.  These events aim to create cross-sectorial partnerships and support NWFP actors and practitioners to find innovative solutions to develop NWFP markets in the Mediterranean. Subsequent seminars will be held later this year on “Innovative business and entrepreneurship for NWFPs” and “ITC tools for improved NWFP value chains and market intelligence”

 

Innovation Networks of Cork, Resins and Edibles in the Mediterranean Basin (INCREDIBLE) is an Innovation Network open to all those involved or interested in creating economic, social and environmental value through improved production, collection, processing, marketing of Mediterranean Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP). INCREDIBLE is coordinated by the EFI Mediterranean Facility and funded by the EU Commission H2020 framework programme for the period November 2017 to October 2020.