Collection and consumption of non-wood forest products in Europe

Jun 14, 2021

The European Forest Institute (EFI) recently published a study on the data gap on Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFPs) in Europe.

Many NWFPs, such as mushrooms and berries, are collected and  consumed in Europe; but both national statistical and scientific data on this topic are reported  only for a limited number of countries, products, and case-study areas. Without an adequate quantitative basis, their importance as a source of food and income, their links to recreation and  cultural heritage, are all under-valued in related policies.

This study addresses the data gap by assessing the consumption and collection of NWFPs through a statistically-representative survey in 28 European countries with over 17 000 respondents.

The report has identified distinct types of recreational, hobby and professional collectors whose characteristics vary across socio-economic variables and geographical gradient.

The results showed that 89.8% percent of households in Europe consume NWFPs and that a quarter  collects them. The report found that rural households engage more actively in collection of NWFPs than urban households do.

In addition, the findings of this study point out the future research directions and a series of policy recommendations on how NWFPs could be addressed along the geographical, income, and urban-rural gradient with respect to their role in forest recreation, as a food and income source.