Wild plants and berries and more than that! How to harvest, where to preserve and who will buy?
24 businessmen and the representatives of tribal communities of indigenous peopleparticipants from Petropavlovsk and Vilyuchinsk, Elizovsky, Milkovsky, Ust-Bolsheretsky and Ust-Kamchatsky districts took part in the workshop. Among those, who was eager to share the information, were the representatives of local administration, people who are involved in helping businessmen in organizing enterprises, lawyer and several experienced businessmen from Moscow and Kamchatka.
Business potential of non-timber forest products is not limited only with gathering berries and mushrooms. It also is much bigger than any vendor can cover. For example, there are enterprises, which produce make-up, using wild plants in Siberia. Restaurants in the European part of Russia welcome foreign products, because domestic market is not developed well enough yet to supply a want.
“Any businessman who's enterprise is based on non-timber forest products faces the same problems, - thinks Stanislav Gavrilenko, a businessman from Moscow. – It’s a seasonal occupation. That’s why it’s hard to find experienced and responsible staff, also product market is rather fastidious. In the European part of the country we face competition with products from China and Scandinavia. In reference to Kamchatka, it means nobody is really waiting for the products form the peninsula, because nobody is aware of it. For the major part of Russians Kamchatka is a place where one can go fishing or skiing. People mostly don’t know about the Kamchatka’s potentials in other areas. That’s why I think that a good market strategy, advertising and emphasizing that it is a green type of product should bring Kamchatka non-timber forest products to a new level of consumption and make customers and retailers particularly favorable. In addition, non-timber forest products, as a source of food and income, are mostly infinite.
According to research conducted in Bystrinsky and Nalychevsky По данным исследований, которые проводились в Быстринском и Налычевском natural preserves, the amount of plants and berries which can be gathered is very high. Blueberry, honeysuckle, cowberry, fern and wild garlic, mushrooms and birch sap – this is far not the full list of all types of non-timber forest products which are very welcome in Canada and Korea.
The joint project of the CITI foundation and WWF Russia is aimed to support businessmen involved in trading non-timber forest products. There will be another workshop in December. After that WWF Russia will commence gathering business plans and choosing those entrepreneurs who will get the grants.