NOVELBALTIC market driven authentic non-timber forest products from the Baltic Sea region

- focus on wild and semi-cultivated species with business potential

Due to increasing and ageing of population and the rise of health and environmental awareness of consumers non-timber forest products (NTFP) business is a mega trend globally. Nordic health and well –being business was 12.1 billion € in 2016 and it is expected to grow to 36 billion € according to the Natural Products Scandinavia newsletter 2017. According to the UN FAO Newsletter (2013) the value of the global wellness industry was 3.4 trillion US$ in the previous year. 

The EU 2020 strategy promotes smart and sustainable growth. The development of Baltic NTFP such as health promoting food and bio-based cosmetics, create job opportunities in rural areas since manufacturing of these products is economically most efficient close to forests and farmlands. The opportunity to increase export of NTFP to selected Chinese/Asian market would contribute to the growth and jobs in the Baltic countries. 

The objective is to enhance the market uptake of NTFP innovations based on improved R&D infra related to authenticity and quality and enhanced utilization of the R&D capacity. The goal is to review the market demand for NTFP in selected regions in China and Asia and to evaluate the feasibility of selected business opportunities through techno-economic calculations.  

Due to the global competition fake products can be found. To help the real and reliable Baltic NWFP business to grow it is important to show proofs of authentic raw materials/products. Methods are needed  by SMEs to provide verification of authenticity of NTFP. Methods based on the analysis of chemical compounds, susceptible to changes by environmental factors, are generally used in the authentication of plant material, but today DNA methods are more accurate and easily applied and of interest. Nuclear and chloroplast genome based sequencing can be utilized for quick pinpointing of raw material/product origin in a species specific manner. Enterprises need methods for product quality and safety monitoring to convince purchasing/consumers that the quality of the products is consistent and traceable. The results, quality demonstration and authenticity methods will be used by SMEs as proof of quality products/premium products. The capacity of the NTFP R&D infra related to authenticity and quality and the utilization of the infra will be enhanced. The feasibility of selected technologies and needed production volumes will be calculated which would help SMEs in planning their businesses. The project can help NTFP business growth: more NTFP raw materials could be refined to high quality, authentic products locally which would create job opportunities. The NTFP business opportunities in the Baltic Sea region and market uptake of NTFP innovations in selected areas in China and Asia would be improved due to the utilization of the developed authenticity and quality demonstration methods. 

Total budget:  EUR 1,9 million

                                                                                                       

European Regional Development Fund: EUR 1.4 million

Norwegian Funding: EUR 0.06 million

Project duration: 36 months, 1/2019 – 6/2021

The lead partner of NovelBaltic is University of Oulu.

 

 


   
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