Representatives of the Mediterranean value chain for Wild Mushrooms and Truffles held an international meeting in the Spanish regions of Castilla y León and Aragón on 19 – 20 June.
The Scoping Seminar was attended by researchers, technicians, policy makers, public administrators, mushroom pickers and processing and trading companies from Spain, France, Italy, Croatia and Greece.
The programme featured both research and practice, with the inclusion of lectures and field visits, as well as a series of group work sessions to collect participants’ contributions for the creation of the INCREDIBLE Wild Mushrooms & Truffles Innovation Network (iNet).
Aspects of concern for the Wild Mushroom supply chain included tackling a tax regime that does not compromise on what for many people in rural areas is a complement to their income.
The regulation of mycological collection was also one of the topics addressed, using the region of Castilla y León as an example. The issuing of permits - limiting the type of use and quantity of mushrooms collected - was gradually taken up by inhabitants of the production areas, who have already fully adapted to this system, and who even see it as a necessity for the management of this non-wood forest product (NWFP).
A field trip included a visit to the research plots of the Junta de Castilla y León (where mushroom research has been going on for 20 years), as well as a visit to a 'mycological reserve', a protected area excluded from collection activity aimed at conserving and showing native specimens in order to disseminate and raise awareness about this resource.
The truffle sector played a leading role on the second day, in Sarrión (Teruel), where conferences and a round table were held between stakeholders of this large truffle-producing area in Spain.
Scoping seminars are being held for each of the five INCREDIBLE iNets to develop a common narrative and roadmap which will act as the basis for collaborative work in their respective sectors over the forth-coming three years of the project and beyond.
INCREDIBLE iNets enable members to share and exchange knowledge and expertise on NWFPs, promoting cross-sectoral collaboration and innovation to highlight the value and potential of NWFPs in the Mediterranean.