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    Jacopo Giacomoni, Enrico Vidale and Nicola Andrighetto (ETIFOR)

Italian cases show how NWFPs can contribute to economic and social development strategies

The first cross-cutting seminar of INCREDIBLE project, held 10 and 11 May, was dedicated to a presentation of successful initiatives capable of connecting the production of agricultural and forest products and the territory of origin.

The event was hosted by Borgotaro Consortium, an organization created for the promotion and the protection of Borgotaro mushrooms. Thanks to the promotional activities implemented by Consortium, the mushroom has become the main product of the local economy and around 100,000 mushroom pickers arrive in Borgotaro area every year.

In addition to Borgotaro Consortium, other successful initiatives presented during the first day were:

  • Strada delle Mele e dei Sapori delle Valli di Non e di Sole  (Apples from Trentino)
  • Fungo di Borgotaro IGP (Mushroom from Borgotaro)
  • Savethetruffle (Truffle from Piemonte)
  • Mirtillo nero dell'appennino modenese (berries of Apennines of Modena)

Almost 50 participants attended the first-day of event, representing public and private sector, such as mushrooms pickers, politicians, entrepreneurs actors involved in tourism sector.

The field trip of the second day, was carried into the forests managed by Fungo di Borgotaro IGP and it has involved forestry student association. During the excursion the relations between mushrooms, local population and tourism were analyzed.

At this meeting, it became clear that NWFPs can play an important role in the touristic and economic portfolio of a territory and also that smart management of NWFPs can become the flywheel for the economy of a specific territory, in terms of incomes deriving from the product itself and for the additional value for touristic sector and productive activities related to these value chains. It was also noted that each NWFP has its specificities: keep in consideration its peculiarities it’s important to design the proper strategies. As emerged, best cases can be found also from different value chains, such as the best case related to apples that was presented.

In conclusion, this first cross-cutting seminar has been very useful in pointing out that there are two parallel streets to follow in order to enhance NWFPs sector at local and European level: improve the legal framework and learn from successful stories such as the ones presented in this event, that can be replicated in other contexts. Innovation and great ideas are around us, maybe in different sectors: search and spread them in essential to move forward.