Stakeholder impressions of the StarTree General Assembly
Still a "newcomer", particularly as regards the international atmosphere of the project, I was immediately warmly welcomed by the participants who engaged myself in lively discussions.
Johannes Schantl, Landw. Fachschule Grottenhof-Hardt
Verein ARGE Zukunft Edelkastanie
Verein D´Kaestnklauba, shares his experience as a stakeholder from Styria attending the StarTree General Assembly in Padova, Italy in October 2014.
It was very beneficial to attain further insights to the multiple dimensions of NWFPs, recognising different angles across European experts. Issues addressed spanned from the utilisation of natural resources without any particular management to more management intensive plantations (e.g. berries, chestnuts).
The field trip highlighted the professionalism of Italian mushroom producers, who still call themselves farmers, and mushroom processors. In contrast, taking into account the enormous dimensions (i.e. quantities, management intensity), we would definitely classify this as industrial production in Austria.
As one of the highlights i recall the presentation of insects as food sources. Since this topic became an issue in my field of activity recently, it was particularly interesting to see and taste upcoming innovations in this respect.
Finally, the market place pinpointed the high-level competence and skills of Italian farmers and processors as regards the marketing as well as the presentation of their products.
I would like to thank the Austrian project members (BOKU) for providing me with the opportunity to attend the meeting as one of the stakeholders involved in StarTree.