The INCREDIBLE Innovation Network (iNet) on Wild Nuts & Berries brought together stakeholders from Portugal, Spain and France to map value chains and mark priority themes for the sector.
Forest owners, collectors, entrepreneurs, researchers and public managers joined the workshop, which took place in Coruche (Ribatejo), Portugal, on 14 June, to validate common narratives for chestnuts and Mediterranean pine nuts, as well as the strawberry tree.
Main findings stressed the impacts of common threats like the prevalence of severe, recently introduced exotic pests, namely the gall wasp for chestnut and the Leptoglossus conifer seed bug for pine nuts.
Furthermore, ongoing climate change is increasing droughts, and the lack of effective traceability along value chains impedes banning theft in origin and black markets as a parallel international supply chain, resulting in low quality products on the shop shelves. This lasting lack of control, certification or quality labels hampers consumer awareness of the genuine excellence of wild harvested Mediterranean tree nuts and allows confusion to persist with cheaper imports from Asiatic species with quite different organoleptic and nutritional properties.
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.