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Roadmap

During the celebration of the Scoping Seminars, some work sessions were held to establish a roadmap for the development of this iNet, including the priority themes that will be addressed throughout the project. Each theme is listed here with title, its nature (technological, social…) and a brief description. These themes will influence the design on interregional and cross-cutting seminars within the next years of INCREDIBLE. 

Priority themes to focus Wild Nuts & Berries iNet actions:

For the Chestnut value chain, identified themes are:

  • Processing quality: High quality standards are considered a challenge for the whole value chain, implying all actors. In 2020, there should be operative protocols developed and implemented by all industries. The steps to achieve this goal are the collection of knowledge from research and practice for the setup of good practices guidelines. Cooperation with related Operational Groups is one of the most obvious issues. INCREDIBLE as network can contribute with science-practices activities and open innovation challenge.
  • New chestnut products: This is a market issue that aims to “put chestnut as a habitual item in the consumers’ basket”. Some ideas for 2020 are product lines for chestnut beer or chestnut flour. The main challenge, standardised supply apart, is a good marketing and consumers awareness rise about health, environment and cultural benefits of chestnut consumption. Here we have a clear example how INCREDIBLE might favour new market ideas as open innovation challenge.

In case of Mediterranean pine nuts, priority topics are:

  • Knowlegde gaps: the first, quite unspecific claim of the sectorial agents is clearly related to the novelness of Mediterranean stone pine as tree crop. Few decades ago, cones were only collected opportunistically from multifunctional pine forests, and research on this species has been centred on botany, ecology and silviculture. Only recently the booming demand for pine kernel and the crisis of alternative tree species such as Pinus pinaster have reoriented land owners preference, and optimised management and tending schemes are still lacking (planting density, tilling, pruning, fertilisation, irrigation, integrated pest management). In the timeframe till 2020, existing knowledge should be collected, integrated and translated into Management guidelines and Good practices guidelines. Cooperating also with recently set up Operational Groups, INCREDIBLE can face this generic challenge making use of most of its tools.
  • Organic food labels: Being a market issue by nature, the labelling of certification schemes for organic food production, and/or, less prioritized, as sustainably managed forest product, such as FairWild standards, are seen as a chance for rising consumers’ awareness about the superior quality of both European chestnuts and Mediterranean pine nut kernels. Discussion took into account that possible development of chemical control for extremely serious pests might enter in conflict with Organic Food Labelling. But for 2020, the proposal oriented towards promotion campaigns in Europe for a better marketing of certification brands and labels. INCREDIBLE might offer cross cutting seminars on this topic.

For both chestnut and pine nut sectors, finally, the paramount threads are:

  • Pest and diseases: the main nature of this challenge is the knowledge gap how to solve severe yield losses especially due to new exotic pests (chestnut gall wasp, conifer seed bug). But there are also an organizational gaps how to apply at operational scale available solutions such as biological control by parasitoids, and in some regions a lack of politic support to these actions. Given that the threads are similar for both value chains, for 2020 a coordinated common approach/strategy should be looked for, not only for research, knowledge and innovation exchange within and among existing networks (European Inter-professional Chestnut Comission EUROCHESTNUT, FAO/CIHEAM Research Network on Nuts, etc.) and in cooperation with Operational Groups, but also for searching more efficient influence on and support from national, European and regional authorities. INCREDIBLE is called to play a role as platform and meeting point to channel these initiatives by all tools the network does offer.

About

The INCREDIBLE project aims to show how Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) can play an important role in supporting sustainable forest management and rural development, by creating networks to share and exchange knowledge and expertise. ‘Innovation Networks of Cork, Resins and Edibles in the Mediterranean basin’ (INCREDIBLE) promotes cross-sectoral collaboration and innovation to highlight the value and potential of NWFPs in the region.

Funding

Innovation Networks of Cork, Resins and Edibles in the Mediterranean basin’ (INCREDIBLE) project receives funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement Nº 774632

Contact

Email: info@incredibleforest.net or use the contact form.
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