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Ms. Natalia DEMIDOVA */ & Mr. Pekka ALHOJÄRVI **/
*/ Northern Forest Research Institute, ARKHANGELSK, Russian Federation
**/ the World Bank


The paper discusses some approaches that are being developed by the research institutes and the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in the field of certification related to non-wood forest products (NWFP). The paper deals with issues of international tendencies and state of forest certification in general, certification and its relation with forest management, the relationship between forest management and NWFP, research projects and activities taken in Northwest Russia in general and in Arkhangelsk region in particular as well as the NGO led activities in Far East part of Russia, and in particular Khabarovsk region and in the WWF led pilot/model forestry projects.

Globally the pressures for forest certification as well as for chain-of-custody for NWFP originating from international markets have been so far very limited. The main concerns in western industrialized markets have dealt with the organic content of the products and how to verify it. In the case of Russia the reply and proof of sanitary control has been most usually used certificate so far. The main issues to be dealt with in these certificates have discussed the pesticides, lead content, and the probable radio-active contamination. All of these factors have to be analyzed before getting certificate for the exports of berries or mushrooms. This type of certificates have been inquired by the western wholesalers and retail networks of organic food. In regional markets, for instance, between the Baltic States and Finland this type of certificates are not commonly demanded.

Forest research dealing with NWFP has a long tradition in the Russian Federation. The research has concentrated mainly in the biological side of the problem framework tackling issues such as factors influencing the production of berries and mushrooms, impacts of forest management practices to yield of various NWFP and inventory methods of NWFP. Now the research is gradually also integrating market and marketing aspects, and thus market and consumer analyses will become more frequent. This has been the case already in practical export marketing efforts taken by the NGO led activities, particularly in Far-East part of Russia.

NGO led activities have also tried to include sustainable forest management into the marketing of NWFP. But for instance in Khabarovsk region it has occurred in a negative way. There has been a text in the labels of NWFP that the harvesting of this product represents the only sustainable mode of forest harvesting in the region. So through negative or critical approach, the promotion of NWFP has taken place and gained clients.

Through the World Bank forestry pilot project the marketing will be transferred towards more a positive approach for practical forestry and the NWFP will be taken more into account in the overall forest management planning, for instance using the land-scape ecological planning method. WWF led activities have concentrated so far in Russia into the forestry activities, but for instance in the pilot/model forestry project in Komi Republic, also NWFP have been included as an essential element in developing forest management in general, and forest certification in particular in the pilot area.

However, there are numerous measures taken internationally in this field. That is why it is essential that both the Russian research institutes and the NGOs will follow the international development in these issues. But it is also essential that practical foresters who often themselves are active harvesters and users of NWFP will be taken actively part in the development work. The development should occur in integrating the NWFP as an equal mode of forest use compared with the conventional economic use of forests for the forest products, and comparing these values with other environmental values the forests represent. After these steps we might be closer to more wisely and objectively measured utilization of forests than so far. And the method how to implement the plans in practice has to occur through integrated and more comprehensive forest management planning methods. This is likely the way both forest certification and chain-of-custody for NWFP can be developed in the most reliable and verified way.

1. Introduction

1.1 International interest in NWFP

Use of Non-Wood Forest Products (NWFP) has existed as long as the mankind has lived in the Earth, but it has gained increasingly emphasis in international development programmes only during the last decade. Rural people have always utilized various types of NWFP in their living and in difficult times these products have acted as the main field of livelihood based on which the poorest people have survived. NWFP have acted as source of food and nutrition, medicine, ornaments, fibre materials for construction, utensils, clothing and packing, and more lately as raw materials for further processing at artisan and industrial levels (Vantomme 1998).

NWFP were, however, given only very limited interest and attention in international organizations. FAO discussed NWFP in some rural development studies, but strategically they were integrated into the forest sector development only after 1985's (Lintu 1986) by the Committee of Forestry of FAO which was the main international advising body of forest sector development till the 1980's in the world. NWFP were included in Tropical Forest Action Plans (TFAPs) in many developing countries after that. However, the bilateral donors did not support too often the development of NWFP in their development projects, and also other international agencies, almost neglected them. Unfortunately NWFP was not integrated either in any concrete ways to the FAO Mode Code of Forest Harvesting Practice (1996) which provided guidelines how to apply forest harvesting in accordance with international conventions and sustainable forest management, but only limiting the concrete recommendations to forest industrial activities. Yet the harvesting of both types of products have to take into account already at the forest management planning phase if a balanced and comprehensive practice is to be developed and achieved.

Internationally funded forest sector development activities started in larger scale in Europe in the beginning of 1990's when the countries in transition started concretely acquiring external assistance for their development. However, NWFP, were seldom tackled either in bilaterally or multilaterally funded projects. The major contributions that led concretely to an increasing emphasis on NWFP in Europe were the International Expert consultation of NWFP organized by FAO in Indonesia in 1995 and the international seminar “ Sustainable Development of Non-Wood Goods and Benefits from Boreal and Cold Temperate Forests” organized by FAO, the European Forest Institute and the Government of Finland in Finland in 1998. Since then the NWFP have been included for instance in the Finnish funded bilateral development projects in countries in transition (Alhojarvi 1998). Some countries have much longer tradition in emphasizing NWFP in their development projects, such as the Netherlands. Usually NWFP have been tackled in and by the rural and agricultural development projects, and seldom by forestry ones.

The international financing organizations, IFIs, have rarely emphasized or even tackled NWFP in their development projects. A good exception is the World Bank financed forest development project in Turkey in which the use of forests as NWFP proved to be more beneficial than as traditional forest products ( See World Bank 1999). However, there is, no doubt, a change of emphasis to take place in the WB financed projects in countries in transition, for many reasons. The first reason comprises the increasingly broadening and more comprehensive approach concerning the utilization of forests. Mainly because of the strong recent emphasis on biodiversity aspects and need to develop more objective and comprehensive basis for valuation of forests, based on which different options of forest use could be analyzed, projects comprise more variation in use of forests than before. Second reason has been the need to change the planning pattern from top to bottom has in recent years changed from bottom to top, and the participation of all stakeholders, especially the local people, have been emphasized. The international organizations have tried to take this seriously. Third major reason originates from the international environmental processes where the recognized role of forests in the global carbon balance have changed the factors and methods how to valuate the forests. Fourth main reason is no doubt international markets of NWFP which are growing much faster than that of any other uses of forests at present.

1.2 Role of NWFP in the Russian Federation

Too often donor agencies neglect or deny the history and tradition of local research and development efforts when they start planning the development programs and projects. They want to invent the wheel again and too seldom understand the value of finding out the lessons to be learnt. This has been very much the case also in developing the NWFP in countries in transition and especially in the Russian Federation. As a matter of fact Russia has a very long tradition in research on NWFP. The federal organization responsible for forest inventories has long timeseries of yields of NWFP per region (Kukuyev 1999). However, there are variations in reliability and validity of this data at the region level. To a large extent it correlates with the number and scale of difficulties and constraints research institutes and regional forest inventory units have met during the 1990's and how they have managed to cope with the continuously decreasing research funding.

This recent data can be combined with the ones collected during the Soviet time. Research carried out in the Baltic States within NWFP is based on the Soviet time research methods which have proved to be internationally of the highest quality. For Estonia see Paal and Saastamoinen 1998, for Latvia Vilkriste 1998 and for Lithuania Rutkauskas 1998. The Russian statistics and interest have mostly concentrated on wild berries, mushrooms and nuts.

Paal (1998) also describes how the local and regional forestry enterprise and districts collected most of the honey produced in the Soviet time and how they owned processing plants for jam, alcoholic beverages, herb tea mixtures, natural oils and extracts in which mainly small quantities were produced to local traditional recipes. In addition also the forestry department's large organizations such as Lekrasprom, Tsentrosojuz and the bureau of Drugstores were also active in organizing the gathering of medicinal plants. In rural areas school-children used to have an obligation to gather certain amount of medicinal plants, too (Paal 1998).

Owing to Chibisov and Demidova (1998) mushrooms and berries were more widely utilized in Russian in olden days than nowadays. In the 1930's the local population gathered on the average 1830 tons of berries and 2040 tons of mushrooms in a year in the Arkhangelsk region. At the end of 1960's the local consumption was exceeded 250 tons of berries and 200 tons of mushrooms. Both Kukuyev (1999) and Chibisov and Demidova (1998) conclude that a remarkable increase in harvesting of NWFP could take place in Russia without endangering the sustainability of forests. But how to do it?

2. Developing NWFP in the Russian Federation

2.1 Major problems

Kukuyev (1999) points out several impediments that hinder the utilization of NWFP in Russia. Firstly he points out as the accounting of NWFP is carried out in full by forest inventory and planning enterprises through the forest management units (leshozes) and as there is a lack of standard publications such as yield tables based on data collected for many years, there are difficulties to compile data and have aggregate figures for all regions. So the problems exist in evaluating the real potentiality and resource basis of NWFP in various regions both in real terms and in comparing the collected data with other regions' data. The second large problem deals with market information and data. How to collect it as some part of the products are aimed at industrial markets for processing and some to the consumer markets? The markets differ to a large extent from each other and the factors to be analyzed vary thus to a large extent as well (see. Lintu 1998 and 1999 and Alhojarvi 1998 b.). Kukuyev (1999) does not see any major problems that would be of technical character dealing with processing technologies, equipment or packaging. However, he considers, that the most serious problem is how to circulate the assets in the various production chains. One measure to improve the situation in this respect would be to develop the forest use patterns such as establishing cultivated areas to be granted on lease which would according to Kukuyev (1999) enhance internal funds and replenish forest income.

Chibisov and Demidova (1998) point out several urgent problems to be solved within harvesting of NWFP. Most of these problems can be explained by natural and socio-economic reasons in addition to the seasonal and territorial inconstancies in production. The major problems to be tackled include:

Most of the factors originate from the underdeveloped markets and are due to lack of sufficient capital flows. This problem is accelerated by the general problem of the lack of local financing mechanisms for rural businesses (World Bank 2000 and EBRD 2000). This fact has also attracted international interest and concern and thus for instance EBRD has developed financing instruments for Small-and Medium size businesses, suitable to be used also for NWFP. The World Bank Group has also developed instruments for SMEs, and these are mainly used by the International Financing Corporation (IFC). The World Bank has identified with the stakeholders in its Pilot Forestry Project in Russia focusing NWFP development in the Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk regions, some other urgent problems that should be tackled in developing the NWFP. These findings mainly concentrate on the market and marketing side of NWFP including the lack of market and marketing research both for industrial and consumer markets as well as insufficient knowledge on phyto-sanitary and other similar regulations in target markets which may become non-tariff barriers for NWFP exports.

Both Russian researchers (Chibisov and Demidova 1998) and the World Bank with its local stakeholders in the regions point out that training and upgrading the skills of NWFP harvesters is of utmost importance in reducing and eliminating the above mentioned problems. At the harvesting level it can be concretisized that the training and development of more productive harvesting methods with modern equipment, deepening the knowledge about various types of mushrooms and their potential use as well as the preparation and storage of them, concern about the forest fires, as well as how to estimate the optimal harvesting methods and rates in the forests. At the forest management level more training is needed at the forest management planning issues; For instance how to integrate forest management and harvesting of NWFP in a more appropriate and long-term way, how to protect forests from overharvesting and how to optimize the harvesting, storage and transportation of NWFP especially in remote areas.

As the problems of sustainable harvesting and use of NWFP relate to ecological, harvesting and market problems and factors, the problems are aimed to be tackled in the World Bank project by a chain-of-custody approach where the whole of various production chains could be certified as representing patterns of sustainable development.

Forest certification has been more or less the main emphasis of World Wildlife Fund, WWF, in its forest related projects in Russia in recent years. Mostly the WWF activities have concentrated on practical forestry and forest management, but NWFP have been included increasingly in WWF projects lately. The problems the WWF and other Non-Governmental organizations emphasize in Russia, deal mostly with forest management and forest harvesting issues, merely from the ecological point of view, lack of participation of local stakeholders in identification, preparation and implementation of forest related projects, inappropriate forest harvesting and road construction technologies, corruption and illegal harvesting, insufficient network of protected forests including ecological corridors, underfinancing of forest protection and the lack of independent monitoring of forestry and economic activities in it.

Lately the organizational changes in the Russian administration in the environmental and forestry sectors have raised the concern of the need of independent evaluation and monitoring of the conservation and utilization of natural resources. Certification has become a concrete measure to be promoted by the Russian NGOs in the field of forestry as to describe the sustainability of this economic activity. WWF Russia is using the approach the WB/WWF Alliance has developed and applied, namely to include certification development via and by large international companies through which a large number of hectares of Russian forests could be certified and controlled.

However, some recent studies in conflict areas, such as in North-West Russia conclude, that most of the environmental and socio-economic problems created by foreign harvesting and processing companies, are created out by smaller companies, those who are independent on the influence of international markets and thus from the market mechanism (Taiga Rescue Network 1999). And as the foreign companies claim that most of the illegal and unsustainable operations are carried out by local Russian forest harvesters, one could argue, if forest certification is an appropriate measure to develop forest management at all when products, either the forest products or NWFP, end to the local markets.

2.2 Development of sustainable harvesting of NWFP

2.2.1 Management planning methods

Kukuyev (1999) points out that remote sensing is the most appropriate solution in assessing the NWFP resources. He considers that especially the application of aerial photography in compiling resource maps is the most useful tool for carrying out resources explorations, inventory and planning work, especially in the Taiga forests that are difficult to assess. Owing to him remote sensing has also proved to be useful with the leasing of plots of Forest Fund and carrying out ecological monitoring. Chibisov and Demidova (1998) claim for more reliable and exact assessments which should be integrated to weather prognoses, historical timeseries of harvesting levels with certain key factors and more allocations to research work within these respects. Their conclusions can be supported by the Nordic experiences in developing forest inventories and forest management planning. For instance, Kangas (1998) points out that multiple-use planning of forests is not only a valid planning system in theory, but very much applied in practice in Finnish and Nordic circumstances similar to the northern Russian regions.

Owing to Nordic experiences in the same types of ecological conditions, there is a necessity to collect data on forests and trees at the ground level by using sample plots. There are nowadays data concerning trees, vegetation (flora) and fauna, NWFP and biotypes that are collected. Based on this exact and verifiable data forest management planning can take these factors into consideration. The priority list of factors analyzed reflect the priorities of the land owner within the limitations of environmental and forestry legislation and regulations. Forestry oriented towards the economic use of forests, has to take into consideration the other alternative uses of forests and trees, either as other products (NWFP) or as services (protected biotypes, watershades, flora and fauna, eco-tourism etc.). The assessed data is converted into plans in this way. The most recent method developed is called the land-scape ecological planning.

It is evident that both the World Bank and the WWF projects support the development of sustainable forest management also within NWFP and the conclusions of Chibisov and Demidova (1998), but in different ways and approaches. The same applies other bilaterally financed forest related projects as well.

2.2.2 Approaches in WWF projects in Russia

WWF emphasizes the importance of the European markets and their influence in developing both the certification and sustainable forest management. This close connection has not always been natural and the European markets are neither united as for instance Alhojarvi (1999) has pointed out. The European markets and their diversity has been discussed and described by several studies, some of which have been carried out by or within the framework of the European Forest Institute, EFI.

WWF has been implementing several pilot or model forestry projects in Russia. The most relevant with also an approach and interest in NWFP has been the one in Komi Republic. The Model Forest in Komi has comprised a large area, totaling to 800 000 hectares, and the results gained in it has become the basis for the National FSC Working Group and four regional FSC Working Groups (in the Republics of Komi and Karelia and the regions Khabarovsk and Krasnoyarsk). WWF has also had a Model Forest in Altay region in South Siberia and in Novgorod region in North-West Russia. WWF has also developed a Model Forest in Pskov region also in North-West Russia, and it has been developed together with StoraEnso, which is the second largest foreign forest industrial company operating in Russia. There are also other large companies involved with WWF promoted FSC projects in Arkhangelsk, Novgorod, Vologda and Altay regions. So far FSC certificate has been given to one company operating in Altay region only, but according to Ptichinikov and Voropaev (2000) there will be several companies in the certification process already. Certification of forest management is estimated to take 1–2 years per company owing to the experiences gained so far. The Altay certification included forest management, harvesting, wood processing, transportation and export operations (Ptichinikov and Voropaev 2000).

There are no certifications being developed in or without the connection with forest management within NWFP in the WWF projects. However, there has been inventories of berries and mushrooms within the Komi Model Forest project. The main problems in using these efforts and results in development of forest management and forest certification deal with the lack of potential investors in the region owing to Demidova (2000). The lack of interest has reflected to the project so that the development of NWFP is awaiting to be started in all parts of the production and marketing chain.

2.2.3 Approach in the World Bank Pilot Forestry Project

The component of the WB financed pilot forestry project that concern the development of NWFP has been identified and mostly prepared by the local NGOs and the regional administration. The role of the WB staff and experts has been to summarize and express the needs in concrete forms of procurements and technical assistance expressed by the local NWFP enterprises and the regional NWFP associations. The needs for procurements have directly originated from the pilot enterprises. These needs have partly they have been designed on the basis of market studies carried out by the local associations and enterprises. Products to be covered include wild berries, mushrooms, honey, upland fern and nuts, the main focus being in processing of berries and mushrooms.

The target export markets to be tackled comprise Japan and Republic of Korea for companies in Khabarovsk region, but yet the main market identified is the one in Khabarovsk city for their products. For companies in Krasnoyarsk region the main client is estimated to be the major metallurgical company which has a huge demand of these products in its facilities and in the city. Krasnoyarsk will emphasize in the longer term either the Asian or the European markets. This will be defined during the implementation of the project.

Technical assistance is mostly directed in assisting the enterprises in their market analyses, installation and use of new technologies, phyto-sanitarial aspects and training of personnel of the pilot enterprises. All levels of employees will be covered by using the trainers' training approach. The whole of various production chains will be taught and the emphasis per employee group depends on their background, experience and skills as well as tasks in the future. Training will mostly take place in the field, in harvesting stations and the forests.

Certification of NWFP will be tackled as well. How to do it in principle is clear: by the chain-of-custody as the production chain has to be covered fully. How to do it practice, will be clarified during the first year of the project after the market analyses and trade barriers have been finished. This will be conducted by the local/regional associations for NWFP. It is evident that the enterprises need the associations mostly in the market and marketing oriented activities such as in promotion of NWFP, in converting market and consumer needs into practical advice to the pilot enterprises, in special issues such phyto-sanitarial regulations and other probable barriers in the target markets, in carrying out market research, building contacts and in helping the enterprises in penetrating new markets etc. In fact, these tasks represent similar needs other SMEs have in the forest sector. These problems are common for all the SMEs in these regions. Another factor to be developed which is not tackled in the WB project, is the development of the financing basis for these enterprises. The WB is approaching this mainly by training the selected personnel in business management and especially the business plans, in which financing is one of the key elements. However, EBRD and other international financing institutions have recently been developing new instruments, appropriate for these types of SMEs as well.

Marketing of NWFP has comprised conflicting elements in Khabarovsk region so far. Some of the products have been marketed by claiming that NWFP represent the only sustainable form of forest use in the region. This has and will attract many critical consumers in the region. However, the WB pilot project aims at changing the concept and content of marketing towards more positive approach. Nevertheless, this new approach must be based on development of forest management practices in the region. This will occur by developing pilot forest enterprises, leshozes, and the pilot industrial enterprises, either lespromhozes or NWFP harvesting ones, at the same time, at the same locations and using more integrated forest management planning methods as the basis of all the forest related activities in the project. As there are difficulties to organize these aspects through land tenure, it will thus take place artificially, aiming at presenting encouraging examples of forest utilization for local and foreign investors as well as the public. This is why the most important issues in the project is the motivation of the project personnel including the stakeholders in working together towards the common goals. In Russian conditions it will mean rather open-minded, flexible and more comprehensive approach than so far has been the tradition in the forest sector.

2.2.4 Other externally financed projects related to NWFP

NWFP have not received much attention in externally and publicly financed projects so far in Russia. The Canadian Government has been a co-financer of a well managed Model Forestry Project, called Gassinskyi, in Khabarovsk region. It has comprised, e.g. support to local SMEs, working in sawmilling, carvery and NWFP. The project has included development of mainly berries and upland fern to local markets as well as to the city of Khabarovsk. These products have not been exported yet. No certification scheme has so far being developed within this project, yet the project belongs to the most comprehensive ones ever developed together and by expatriots. Gassinskyi model forest has emphasized the socio-economic factors more than any other externally partly financed forest sector development projects so far.

The US Government has implemented in recent years forest sector development projects mainly in the Far-East of Russia and in Siberia. One of the key aspects in their approach has been the development of SMEs in the regions. The support has been allocated both to forest industrial and NWFP enterprises. The approach is rather similar than the one described in the WB project. The major obstacles so far have been the poor institutional structure supporting SMEs in the regions and the lack of market orientation and understanding of foreign markets' mechanisms. The latter mentioned problems have been attempted to be solved through market research and analyses. However, especially within NWFP, the task is rather difficult, and problematic. In order to be able to carry out studies that the pilot enterprises can utilize in practice, the market niches should be clearly identified, and prefereably in the very beginning of the work. Companies cannot afford general sector type of analyses, which most of the foreign consultants offer them. This has partly led the enterprises, especially within NWFP, to concentrate on the urban and local markets.

NWFP have been included in the Finnish financed development program in North-West Russia since 1998. Mostly the approached used have comprised support to identify the main problems in developing the NWFP, then the main problems within research related to them and after which they have been included as elements into the practical forestry and national park projects. Earlier NWFP were also analyzed through the socio-economic dimension of forests, such as in the Taiga-model forest in the Republic of Karelia (see Saastamoinen 1998). There has also been an effort to develop the forest certification in the Taiga model forest, but it has not yet included NWFP (Kouki etc. 2000). There has been a long tradition within forest research between Finland and Russia, but NWFP, were not usually included in that cooperation in olden days, yet the bilateral agreements of the Governments have supported it ( Agreement… 1995). Usually the activities within NWFP were product specific and it occurred through exchange of researchers through the above mentioned agreements.

NWFP have been essential elements in the latest EU financed TACIS projects in Russia. These products have been recently emphasized for instance in the Republic of Burjatyi, and in the Republic of Karelia and Arkhangelsk region. These development activities have mainly occurred by developing forestry activities towards so called multiple-use forestry which comprise many targets to be set for the use of forests ranging from conservation to economic activities including harvesting and processing of NWFP. This approach has included also analysis on the responsibilities that the National Park Organizations should have themselves, and what type of activities should be allocated to local entrepreneurs, for example. The concrete forest management planning method has been the land-scape ecological planning applied in Russian management methods and forest inventories.

3. Harvesting of NWFP and Its Relation to Certification and Verification of Forests

3.1 International development of forest certification/verification schemes

The original purpose of market-oriented certification is two-fold: 1. To improve the quality of forest management, and 2. To provide market advantage or improved access for products from sustainably managed sources (Bass and Simula 1999). In assessing forest management quality, it is established whether, in a defined forest area (often a forest management unit), the performance requirements expressed as criteria and indicators (standard) are complied with. The criteria are generally associated with SFM concept and they often consider various sets of internationally agreed criteria and indicators as well as national legal requirements as a starting point.

Labelling of forest products is defined as a process which results in a claim which may be used on-product referring to the quality of forest or forest management in the origin of the raw material (wood, fibre) of which the product is made. In this case the labeling is based on a. certification of forest management, b. verification of chain-of-custody. Information on certification can also be communicated off-product, i.e. in various promotional materials and communication media not attached to the product on sale.

A forest management certificate or label refers to one single-issue characteristic of the processing and production methods (PPM), i.e. to the quality of forest management. The chain-of-custody refers to all the changes of custodianship of forest products and products made thereof during the transportation, processing and distribution chain from the forest to the final end use. When the chain-of-custody is verified, the origin of forest products is established.

Certification of forest management in a defined area is based on performance requirements. Another option is to certify the environmental management system (EMS) of a forest organization, which is typically made according to the respective international standards (ISO 14001/14004). EMS does not lead to product labeling.

Accreditation is recognition against published criteria of capability, competence and impartiality of a body involved in conformity assessment. With a few exceptions, accreditation is granted by national accreditation bodies, which can be governmental or private. To facilitate mutual recognition at international level, ISO has set out recommendations that accreditation bodies should follow (Indufor 1997, ISO/IEC Guides).

The above mentioned definitions refer to voluntary certification systems, which are typically driven by market forces. The international requirements set for certification schemes can be summarized as follows (Bass and Simula 1999):

1. Open access and non-discrimination, 2. Credibility, 3. Transparency, 4. Freedom from conflict of interest, 5. Participation and acceptability to interested parties, 6. Non-deceptiveness, 7. Reliable and independent assessment, 8. Objective and measurable criteria, 9. Goal orientation and effectiveness, 10. Performance standards defined at national level within generally accepted SFM principles, 11.Adapted to local conditions, 12. Cost-effectiveness.

Owing to Bass and Simula (1999) there were 12 countries in the world where market oriented certification/verification schemes had taken place to a remarkable extent. Most of the schemes had been worked out within the umbrella of FSC system or the Pan-European Criteria and Indicators developed through the Pan-European and national processes, but especially the regional effort in Europe creating a Pan-European Forest Certification council, or a system, was expected to take place soon. It would also increase remarkably the total numbers of hectares to be covered by various certification/ verification systems.

Owing to FAO/ECE (Hansen etc. 1999) nothing remarkable had happened in the Russian certification of forests by the summer 1999. However, there has been many efforts in Russia that have not been shown outside yet, or at least by that time. The main unique phenomenom has been the development of mandatory certification which is based on the on the Federal Law of mandatory certification. It has a potentiality to become a powerful tool in improving the enforcement of rules and regulations, but it can also lead to increased and complicated bureaucracy. From the export markets point of view it is unlikely that the mandatory certification would meet the requirements set internationally for the certification schemes. Thus it is likely that the Russians will have to develop the voluntary, market based scheme as well.

But what is the most appropriate scheme of certification/verification to be applied in the Russian Federation meeting the international requirements? It is evident, that the Russians will have to decide themselves which prevailing international, market based schemes their one(s) have to be comparable with. If the country opts for joining PEFC, their specific requirements should be considered. In case of FSC is targeted at, their procedures should be followed. But from the NWFP neither of them might be the right one.

According to the second meeting of international certification experts of NWFP working in with agro-forestry and NWFP, there are plenty of problems in all the prevailing schemes used in the forest sector. Only FSC provides an application for NWFP certification at present (Certification … 1999). The options have to be found from food products or by developing a modified and applied version from the prevailing ones in which NWFP have fully been taken into account, as equal modes of use of forests than the forest products.

3.2 Other schemes for certification/verification of NWFP

Perhaps the most relevant process and practices applied from which lessons could be learnt is the certification of organic agriculture. Though the organic agriculture has been practiced already for decades in many countries, it is only recently when the growing interest by consumers has necessitated the development of common standards for production and processing as well as criteria for regional and national programs in order to provide consumers with quality guarantees for organic food products. With the increase in international trade in organic foods, the need for a comprehensive and formalized regulatory system became necessary to ensure uniform production standards as well as inspection and certification procedures as a basis for this trade.

The International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM) is a not-a- profit federation involved in production, certification, research, education and promotion of organic agriculture with about 500 member organizations in some 100 countries (Blake 1996). IFOAM sets standards and carries out program evaluation, accreditation, research, education, publishing, lobbying and other promotional activities. The IFOAM standards cannot be used on their own but they provide a framework for certification bodies to develop their own standards. Their standards have been adopted as the basis of reference for national organic standards throughout the world.

The IFOAM standards define: 1. The principal aims of organic agriculture; 2. Conditions in which standards apply; 3. Conversion to organic agriculture; 4. Crop production methods (including environmental conditions, choice of crops and varieties, rotations, manorial policy, pest, disease, and weed management, growth regulators, use of plastics, wild and natural products, traditional agriculture and landscape); 5. Animal husbandry; 6. Storage, transportation and processing; 7. Labelling and consumer information. IFOAM has also developed and approved guidelines for a. social rights and fair trade, b. coffee, cocoa and tea, c. evaluation inputs to organic agriculture (IFOAM 1995).

IFOAM has also developed an accreditation program through which means are provided whereby national certification programs can submit themselves for evaluation against internationally agreed criteria, thereby enabling them to gain accreditation status. The accreditation contract will be with the certification body only. Certifiers of organic agriculture vary by country and they can be private companies, associations or government bodies.

As an example of such a body acting in the US, is the Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. which is a not-for- profit grassroots membership organization. It provides certification covering the whole production chains and thus it provides criteria in every production phase of the product. In relation with NWFP it describes its principles and actions in the following way ( Florida …2000). Mushrooms (Shiitake): Where these mushrooms are grown on the wood harvested and wood used may not have been previously treated with any prohibited herbicide, pesticide, or fungicide, or fertilized with prohibited synthetic fertilizers within previous three years. If the mushrooms are grown on the sawdust, it should be derived from wood harvested in chemically untreated woodlands. If the origin of the logs can not be determined, sawdust should come from sawmills that debark the logs before sawing. Spawn and supplements used they should originate from an organic source. Natural waxes such as beeswax are allowed to be used in the process whereas the use of latex paint or paraffin wax is restricted and for instance, synthetic fungicides or oil based paints are prohibited.

With wild plants the collection area must be documented that no prohibited materials have been applied to the area in the three years prior to collection. If the collection area has a past history of chemical use, residue testing may be required for certification. The claimed organic plan should address continued management of the area as well as address how harvest will be done in a manner that sustains the ecosystem. The harvest of wild plants as organic is allowed if these criteria are met. In principle, food growing in a natural ecological situation is organic (Florida …2000). In practice, the Russian exporters have to provide the US buyers a test certificate where the residues of various herbicides, pesticides, lead and nuclear contamination has been measured (Demidova 2000).

All herbs not started from an organic source are considered a restricted material and must be listed on the Restricted Substance Form. The first cutting to be sold as organic from a non-organic source must be a third generation cutting from that non-organic source (Florida …2000). There are also strict criteria concerning honey. Bees may be designated as organic livestock and products from them can be sold, labeled or represented as organically produced, if managed in accordance with organic standards for at least 60 days prior to the collection or organic apiculture products. Documentation of bee stock sources and colonies are to be recorded in the organic farm plan. The use of colonies that have combs containing existing honey produced from nectar collected from non-complying foraging areas is prohibited. There exist also very specified restrictions concerning the feed supplements and health-care practices of bees, the foraging areas, beeswax, storage, harvesting, extraction facilities, honey treatment, labels and record keeping (Florida …2000). All these factors should be analyzed before any production or export marketing efforts will take place, as the production chain should meet the criteria and requirements of the target market, and its niches (see Alhojarvi 1998b and Lintu 1998 and 1999)..

The EC and the US markets occupy the largest share in the global trade with organic agricultural products. These markets are regulated by the EEC Regulation (No 2092/91) since 1991 and by the US Organic Foods Production Act since 1990. The EEC regulation establishes official recognition of organic farming and it lays down uniform, common rules for operators while guaranteeing consumers with a means of unmistakably identifying genuine organic produce, thus eliminating the abuses previously frequent in the sector. The EEC rules cover a) principles of organic production on agricultural holdings, b) food products obtained by processing organic produce, c) controls, d) labelling of consumer products (Bailleux and Scharpe 1993). These principles were largely derived from IFOAM standards, but they are more rigid providing clear definitions on the minimum performance levels. This has also been a cause of concern by the organic movement, together with the bureaucracy involved. Nevertheless, it has reduced the role of grey market and false claims, and offered a direct channel for the organic movement to influence legislation (Blake 1996). At the same time the role of self-regulation in the sector has diminished in the EU and the small-scale producers have been dropping out of the schemes due to too cumbersome and costly procedures of certification. The EEC control system consists of: A. A competent authority in each member state, B. Inspection bodies who carry out annual and other inspections under detailed rules, C. An authority responsible for the approval and supervision of such bodies, D. Obligations of the applicant notifying of the schedule of production, detailed accounts of inputs bought and products sold, and separation of parallel production of organic and non-organic products, E. Inspection measures for importers.

Rules on labelling and advertising are very strict recognizing four categories of organic products. Only products which have at least 95% of the agricultural ingredients produced according to organic principles may be labelled as “Organic Farming-EEC Control System”. If the share ranges between 50 and 95% the reference to organic methods can only appear in the list of ingredients. Processed products with less than of 50% of ingredients deriving from organic agricultural cannot be labelled and no other indication on organic production can be included. In the case of imported products the EC Commission must be satisfied, after investigation, that the rules applied to organic farming are equivalent to the Community rules. The EC Commission may specify the regions or production of origin, or the bodies whose inspections are deemed to be equivalent. In this respect IFOAM Accreditation Program is likely to offer a useful instrument for outside producers of the EEC. However, there exists a problem in the control system that the responsibility of audit trails of products to retail shops is left to the authority and not entrusted to inspection bodies. This is comparable to the problem of chain-of-custody verification in forest products.

In the EEC Regulation (No. 2092/91) the main issues that are discussed concerning edible plants and parts thereof, concern the prohibited treatments during the last three years and the need to sustain the ecosystem. Mushrooms will be analyzed in silmilar type of context as in the US described above.

Codex Alimentarius (CA) is a control mechanism of FAO and WHO concerning food products. The purpose of CA is to guide and promote the elaboration and establishment of definitions and requirements for foods to assist in their international harmonization and in doing so to facilitate international trade. The harmonized regulations are expected to protect consumers' health from threats caused by food stuffs and ensure fair practices in the food trade. The CA targets are tried to be achieved by promoting the coordination of all food regulation, preparing food standards as well as amending and updating published standards. The CA Commission has produced sets of standards, guidelines and principles bound including more than 200 food commodity standards and about 35b hygienic and technological practice codes. The CA standards are recommendations by nature. CA has provided guides for good agricultural practices, including how to use pesticides, commodity food standards for processing products, and hygiene codes of making food safe for consumers and acceptable in international trade. CA Commission has been in the process of developing guidelines for organic agriculture which are likely to be quite similar to the EEC Regulation.

CA has recognized the importance of labelling products and has developed model regulations to control outrageous and unsubstantiated claims made on labels, as well as special regulations on nutrition labels and health claims. A Codex food label which is widely used in international trade has to contain: name of the food, list of ingredients, net contents and drained weight, name and address of manufacturer, country of origin, lot identification, date marking, storage instructions, and instructions for use. The guidelines on claims seek to preclude foods from being wrongly presented from nutritional or health standpoint. For example, claims that foods have medicinal properties are prohibited.

4. Trade and Marketing Aspects

4.1 General

The commercial value of NWFP vary to a large extent. There are at least 150 different NWFP that are of major significance international trade. In addition there exists a large number of botanicals, ranging from 4000 to 6000, that enter international markets (Iqbal 1995, FAO 1995).

As a whole the markets for NWFP are large and for some products the markets are growing much faster than that of forest products. In general the world market for natural rubber, the imports of which exceed US$ 1 billion annually, is the biggest one. World trade of essential oils is of the order of US$ 1 billion and is growing fast. The ones for natural honey exceed US$ 300 million annually, but the growth is more moderate than that of the above mentioned ones. The fourth largest product group traded internationally comprise various medicinal plants whose trade is diversified and in rather fast increase because of boosting medicinal industries and search for local, environmentally healthy, origins of rawmaterial for the industries. Besides these products and industries, the increased use in petro- and chemical industries favor the investments within the NWFP (Iqbal 1995). Wild berries and mushrooms are typically delivered and marketed to the local consumer or industrial markets. Nevertheless, certain types of mushrooms, especially truffles and morels/balck mushrooms, have significance role in international trade, particularly in the US and Western European markets. Wild berries have a role to play in border markets in the international context, e.g. for instance in trade between the Baltic States or Russia to the Nordic countries, mainly due to the big price differences of the berries.

In spite of the great prospects of NWFP in trade, there exist also various restrictions and impediments in it. Generally taken the tariffs of NWFP are quite low. For instance, in the EU and the US there has existed more than 90 tariff lines in both markets in recent years. Approximately 40% of these product lines in Europe and 47% in the US market, have been free of import duty, and in both markets over 50% of the lines have faced nominal duty ranging from 1 to 10%. Only certain product lines such as natural honey, truffles and spices in Europe and some bamboo or cork products in the US have faced higher duties. In Japanese markets the import duties have been much higher and it has applied GSP treatment (favoring developing countries) only within certain, very few products. However, in China and India, the import duties have traditionally been at very high level, usually within the range of 30–60% of ad valorem prices (Iqbal 1995). China and India have also claimed for import licences and inspection from many of the NWFP.

There has been a global tendency to reduce tariffs in general in international trade, and also within the NWFP. The reductions have not been sufficient from the developing country standpoint, claim for instance Binswanger and Lutz (1999). They claim that especially the slow pace of reduction of tariffs and the tariff escalation (the practice to set increase of tariff rates with the degree of processing) have favored mostly OECD countries and not the developing countries. They point out that Anderson etc. (1999) have estimated that various subsidy supportive systems in OECD countries and trade restrictions cause annual welfare losses of US$ 19.8 billion for developing countries. This is more than twice the losses that developing countries incur due to OECD countries' import restrictions on textiles and clothing. This amount is also more than three times as large as the grant aid flows and about twice as large as grant aid and export credits combined in OECD countries to wards developing countries. (Binswanger and Lutz 1999).

Concerning the EU markets for agricultural products, Binswanger and Lutz (1999) estimate that only the reduction or outright ban on export subsides would be effective measure enough for developing countries to penetrate the EU markets. However, they do not foresee to take place in the near future, but some changes are to be awaited also in this sense in the enlargement of the EU in the coming years. As this affects also some products groups of NWFP, this development has to be taken into account in those markets.

Western industrialized markets have applied increasingly non-tariff measures while diminishing the import duties of NWFP gradually. The most common ways to control the trade is the use of CITES (The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) within plants and animals, and the various health and safety regulations in the form of Codex Alimentarius (CA) as explained in the chapter 3. In western industrialized markets especially pesticide residues are being watched at. Regulations and requirements regarding identification of medicinal qualities as well as characteristics and storage for medicinal plants and their derivatives are well defined and observed in national pharmacopoeias and formulary standards in the major EU, North-American and Japanese markets. For most edible products national food legislation is the main criterium, and obstacle to be overcome for many foreign NWFP producers. Quality considerations are of primary importance in the trade of culinary herbs and also other edible products. The international trade is being promoted also by the product group based associations, such as CENTA (The Combined Edible Nut Trade Association) which has compiled and published such national and regional rules and regulations that assist developing countries to penetrate the industrialized markets. For essential oils there exist numerous bodies that monitor product quality and trading procedures and draw up specifications for these products. The most widely recognized standards are those set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).

International marketing of NWFP requires much more detailed and specified market research than that of forest products in order to be able to support the penetration of markets. Without an assistance of industrial and trade associations the efforts are too huge for a single producer in a developing country or in a country in transition. Added with the tariff escalation and by other protective measures for its own industries in the importing country, the lack of such institutional industrial-trade support is likely to slow down the development of NWFP in developing countries and in transition.

4.2 Russian Federation

It is very evident that the producers of NWFP meet hard and fierce competition within NWFP in all the major international markets. Asian markets will be increasingly penetrated by Asian producers in the near future and in the EU markets the enlargement of the EU will support the role of new coming members of the Union. However, there are ways to overcome the difficult situation, at least gradually and partly.

The strong and rich history of research of NWFP in Russia has to be converted through more applied research to pragmatic actions and projects. As long as the Russian Federation is not a member of WTO it can also use export subsidies and other supportive measures to increase its exports, but this path cannot last long, as the country is seriously considering its membership to WTO. The supportive measure legal also in the WTO context and in the long run, is to develop industrial and trade associations for NWFP which will have strengths and expertise in issues that the individual enterprise cannot afford or that are more appropriate to be carried out by associations. These tasks include market and consumer research at targeted markets and their niches, further processing, labelling, export deliveries at least in the beginning, organized and long term financing and promotion of NWFP to potential investors.

These are steps and tasks that have already been started by the local NGOs such as the one in Khabarovsk region, by the private investors, such as in the Arkhangelsk region, or by externally financed development projects, such as the World Bank Pilot Forestry Project. But at the same time, the improvements in the investment climate in Russia, which can mostly and only tackled by appropriate macroeconomic policies must take place. Without the change in the investment climate, most of the efforts are only partial and restricted measures having limited impacts on the development of the sector.

5. A Case Study in Arkhangelsk Region

5.1 NWFP resources

Forests of Northwest Russia are rich in various Non-Wood Forest Products. They historically play an important role in the life of the local population, especially in the Arkhangelsk Region.

The main reasoning for sustainable use of NWFP resources in the Northern regions could be determined by the following:

The main volume of NWFP resources (80%) is found in the state forests, which belong to the Ministry of Natural Resources. Forest covers the area of 27 million ha.

The annual yield of mushrooms in the Arkhangelsk Region can amount to 114 th. tons, the harvesting crop being equal to 65 th. tons, including such species as boletus, milk agaric, saffron milk cap, orange cap boletus brown mushrooms, butter boletus, coral milky cap, moss mushrooms, russule, russule foetens (Lukin and Chertovskoi 1981). The biological crop is strongly influenced by weather conditions. In favourable years, the crop may be ten times higher than in unfavourable ones.

The annual yield of berries makes up 78,6 th. tons, and harvesting crop is estimated as 39,3 th. tons, including cranberry - 5,6, cowberry - 7,5, bilberry - 24,7, cloudberry - 1,5. About two thirds of forests are not accessible for picking because of the lack of roads owing to Lukin (1988).

The problems which exists in the question of NWFP resources are the following:

That is why we need to develop strategy of action in order to diminish the problems connected with lack of information in NWFP resources. It is important to support the research on the main directions such as biology, NWFP yield prognoses and ecosystem management.

Strategy of NWFP resources utilisation would include:

5.2 NWFP harvest

The share of commercial harvesting and processing of NWFP is very low in the Region. Local population carries out the main volume of these activities for household consumption. Part of mushrooms and berries harvested by local population is redistributed through the street trade, partly is purchased to different local, non-local and foreign commercial companies.

Following factors influence sustainable NWFP management:

Up to 1990's the commercial methods were used for harvesting and processing of NWFP. Arkhangelsk Consumer Union (co-operative trade institution), Arkhangelsk Forest Service and some other trade organisations carried out this kind of work. These institutions used to open a network of purchasing units during the ripening period of mushrooms and berries. The total purchasing volume for commercial processing of mushrooms constituted 300 tons, 500 tons of berries or 7–8% of the total volume of NWFP collected in the forest.

There are following problems in the NWFP harvesting in Arkhangelsk region:

Some changes in the situation in NWFP business appeared during last year. New harvesting companies appeared in Arkhangelsk Region. They are working separately on the market using local population for picking NWFP. Unfortunately, the Forest Administration has no influence on that process. According to this, we will get following consequences on existing problems and with the expected increase of NWFP harvesting since 2000:

In order to improve the situation it is important to make clear how technical and scientific information about resources can be accessible for harvesters. Regional Administration and Forest Service, who are responsible for decisions adoption on sustainable forest management, have to support the creation of different associations of harvesters,.

5.3 NWFP primary and secondary processing

NWFP primary processing is carried out mainly in the forest or purchasers' units. It consists of the most simple operations: berry freezing and drying; mushrooms salting and drying. There are some problems in primary processing, especially for the remote villages. Small and medium primary processing enterprises have not access to the finance and modern technologies. They have weak position because of that.

Secondary processing is carried out on cannery factories and big enterprises. They produce different kinds of products such as juices, drinks, concentrates, jam etc. Such enterprises are purchasing raw- or half-processed material for further processing and produce products which could be used by the end consumers. They usually use equipment and technologies, which suit for production of different kinds of products and lower the pollution of the environment. They have higher profit in comparison with primary processing enterprises.

A network of mushroom cooking workshops was in operation for the primary processing of the harvested resources (before 1990's). The sorting of raw material, salting and mushroom cooking, packing and half-finished products took place in these workshops. The manufactured products were sent to the trade network (shops, restaurants, canteens) or for further processing at the canneries.

At that period in other regions of the former Soviet Union the commercial processing of NWFP was also well and even better developed than nowadays. Special attention was paid to the most common and efficient products in the specific region, e.g. pine nuts and sea-Buckthorn in Siberia, honey-bearing and medical plants in the central zone of Russia, mushrooms and berries in northern regions.

Ten mushroom cooking workshops and one processing cannery of mushrooms and berries were in operation in 1970–1990's in the Arkhangelsk Forest Service. Wide assortment of foodstuff was produced at the cannery: rubbed and crushed cranberry and cowberry with sugar, cowberry drink, dog rose drink, cowberry jam, crushed cowberry with apples, salted milk agaric and coral milk caps, pickled orange cap boletus, dried mushrooms. The production volume made up 720 th. cans in 1992, 212 th. cans in 1993. The marketing of the production was carried out through municipal trade organisations in the towns of Arkhangelsk Region. Since 1994 the cannery has been out of operation due to the reorganisation process in the forestry system. The main idea of that process was to transform the canneries into government monitoring service, free from economic activity. As the result, all the production structure was withdrawn from leshozes and was dissolved in the market chaos. The government motivation to be involved into such type of activity has disappeared.

The commercial production of NWFP in forestry and other areas fell into decay. It was caused by many reasons. First, we experienced the intensive “intrusion” of foreign products of vegetable origin. Secondly, during the process of privatisation the priorities were given to big high-tech enterprises, whereas small and medium business failed in the competition in the new system of taxation. Thirdly, the mechanism of credit allotment was limited thus depriving small and medium enterprises of the possibility to modernise their equipment.

5.4 Relationship between forest management and harvesting

However, much has been changed in the last years. Favourable conditions are being created for the revival of the commercial processing of NWFP in the Arkhangelsk Region at present. Firstly, the government does not meet the dependence of the food market on imported foodstuff and it should be expected that the local food producer would get priority. This would also improve the unemployment situation and promote the increase of local budget.

Secondly, the forestry bodies are again forced to undertake the economic activity with the aim of finding additional resources for financing the activity directly related to forestry. High demand is still preserved for food products as a whole and for local and ecologically safety in particular.

Thirdly the trust to the Russian government has appeared from the western investors recently, which is likely to influence to a large extent the development of NWFP processing in the northern parts of Russia, too.

There are no restrictions for NWFP utilisation in the federal and local legislation. There exist scientific recommendations to increase the productivity of the forests twice or three times from this point of view. There is much cheap labour force available in the rural areas that would allow for organising multi-scale harvesting of NWFP. The unemployment level in the region varies between 10 and 30%.

Urban people collect berries and mushrooms mainly for their own household consumption. They often compete for the same accessible resources with the local population who, besides their home consumption, collect NWFP for sale to purchasers and directly for the market places. Trade is carried out spontaneously, without laws and regulations. There are voluntary labourers who are interesting in selling berries and mushrooms to commercial enterprises and to different firms from central part of Russia. They purchase mostly berries from local population. Because of that, it is impossible to register the harvested volumes of berries nowadays. It is very important to organise controlled use and utilisation of accessible NWFP stocks.

Harvesting of NWFP increases every year and the problem of berry and mushroom sites protection may occur very soon. The increased harvesting has resulted in over-exploitation of certain areas, decreasing their quality and finally reducing the number of accessible areas.

The need for establishment of tariffs for industrial NWFP harvest appears nowadays. The lease payment for NWFP harvest could be set by the Regional Administration on the basis of Russian Federation Forestry Legislation (1993) and Forest Code (1997). The following measures could be suggested for that in Arkhangelsk region:

Trade between licensed purchasers and local collectors could create a utilisation chain from the forest to the export markets. It is necessary to widen the net of purchasing points and to invest in their reconstruction for foreign and local buyers.

5.5 Main problems in developing sustainable use of NWFP in the Northwest Russia

  1. Insufficient support of development of this branch of economy, both at regional and local, as well as at federal levels;
  2. Insufficient level of legal regulation in the questions of NWFP use;
  3. Forest Service carries out a weak control on NWFP use and the correct level of harvest;
  4. Insufficient information about NWFP resources and weak attention to the resources inventory and control of their use from local authorities and at a Federal level;
  5. Lack of the information about the forecast of a NWFP crop;
  6. Lack of the trained qualified experts in all parts of the production chain from inventory of resources till harvesting, primary and secondary processing and marketing to the end users and consumers;
  7. Harvesters have not sufficient information about the requirements of the certification and of the quality of production; or about each others activities or about similar enterprises outside the region;
  8. Lack of the specialised NWFP trade in the region;
  9. Weak work with the rural population about harvesting and protection rules;
  10. Lack of certificated production.

5.6 Certification/sanitary control of NWFP

NWP production requires realization of the laboratory control. It can be carried out by the local sanitary station. It is necessary to receive the certificate on made production, which can be received at the Standard and Metrological Center and Sanitary Center. These Centers are responsible for making following certificates: hygienic, conformity (for non-processed raw material) and quality (for processed product). These certificates are needed only for the export markets. For the domestic and local markets only phyto quarantees are needed.

All companies deal with raw material need to get two certificates: hygienic and certificate of conformity at present.

The hygienic specification (allowable norms of mg/kg, no more) for frozen berry (concentrate): Lead - 0,4; Arsenic - 0,2; Cadmium - 0,03; Mercury - 0,02; Copper - 5,0; Zinc - 10,0; Hexachlorocycloxane (C6H6C16 - 0,05); D.D.T. (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) and its metabolite -0,1; Radionuclides - non. There are other characteristics which have to be determine such as microbiological.

There are different government standards which is need to follow for harvester enterprises in order to get the certificate of conformity. There are standards for NWFP resources and products (19): for fresh and dry berries (separately for different species); for fresh, salted, dried, semi-processed and processed mushrooms. There are standards for product package (17), labeling and transportation (14).

The selling of the NWFP production usually carries out by a limited number of the industrial enterprises of the appropriate structure, with the majority from which the co-operation is already adjusted. Therefore selling have strictly focusing character and carried out as scheduled contract deliveries. The NWFP market does not require certificate on sustainable forest management yet.

Government, research, industrial enterprises and voluntary organizations have focused their attention on the management on timber resources. There are no any requirements for NWFP certification in the existing forest certification systems. But NWFP play an essential role in the sustainable forest management. NWFP producers have to understand and meet the requirements for certification and consumers to what they are supporting through the buying of certified products.

Packaging, labelling and transportation- Usually berries are packing into plastic boxes, netto 12 kg, or plastic bucket, netto 10 kg. Frozen berries could be packed into paper bags (50 kg). All packing material is produced in the Russian Federation. Every NWFP batch has hygienic and conformity label. It is impossible to know where berries were picked, purchased, frozen and how they were transported.

Purchasing companies create harvesting net in order to accelerate the process of NWFP purchase, as usually berries and mushrooms need to be processed within a short time. A transportation schedule is needed to be worked out. Not all companies have their own harvesting net and transportation. They organize several purchasing occasions where rural population can sell their berries and mushrooms. The quality of such products is not good enough for export. Wholesalers play a role as mediators between harvesting, processing and shipping. They depend very much from geographical NWFP distribution. These companies do not worry about sustainable forestry and how it is possible to support it. Wholesalers have the control on transportation and can influence the prices and make pressure on resources by that.

NWFP harvesting have big socio-economic meaning for rural population in Arkhangelsk region. Its development according to the existing resources would allow to involve more than 6 000 people into the process of picking berries and almost 400 people are estimated to get a permanent job through that. Commercial gathering of NWFP provide sustainable incomes to those people engaged in the business.

Local processing is important to the well-being of the rural population. The benefits from it accrue locally. Regional authorities have to support local businesses by buying and selling products close to home. Forest service(leshoz, lesnichestvo) together with private purchasing companies need to restore their good tradition on NWFP harvest and processing in the North. The co-operation between them is still difficult. There still exists a special mentality: a look from the side. The development of co-operation would bring about only positive result for local people, Forest Administration and harvesting companies.


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Mme Natalia Demidova* et M. Pekka Alhojärvi**
* Institut de recherche forestière, Arkhangelsk, Fédération de Russie
** Banque mondiale


Le document porte sur certains modes d'approche élaborés par l'Institut de recherche et les organisations non gouvernementales (ONG) dans le domaine de la certification des produits forestiers autres que le bois. Il traite des tendances et de la situation de la certification forestière en général au plan international, de la certification et de son rapport avec l'aménagement forestier, de la relation entre l'aménagement forestier et les produits forestiers autres que le bois, des projets et activités de recherche entrepris dans le nord-ouest de la Russie en général et dans la région d'Arkhangelsk en particulier ainsi que des activités menées par les ONG dans la partie extrème orientale de la Russie et en particulier dans la région de Khabarovsk et enfin des projets pilotes de foresterie du WWF.

Globalement, la pression des marchés internationaux pour obtenir une certification forestière et la mise en place d'une chaine de responsabilité dans le cas des produits forestiers autres que le bois a été jusqu'ici très limitée. Dans les pays industrialisés occidentaux les principales préoccupations ont porté sur la teneur en matière organique des produits et les moyens de la vérifier. Dans le cas de la Russie, jusqu'ici la preuve des contrôles sanitaires a consisté le plus généralement en certificats. Les certificats portent essentiellement sur les pesticides, la teneur en plomb et la contamination radioactive probable. Tous ces facteurs doivent être analysés avant la délivrance du certificat d'exportation pour les baies et les champignons. Ce type de certificat est demandé par les grossistes et les détaillants de produits alimentaires organiques occidentaux. Sur les marchés régionaux, par exemple entre les États de la Baltique et la Finlande, ils ne sont pas couramment demandés.

La recherche forestière dans le domaine des produits autres que le bois est une activité traditionnelle en Fédération de Russie. Les chercheurs se sont axés principalement sur l'aspect biologique du problème, en s'intéressant à des questions telles que les facteurs influençant la pousse des baies et des champignons, les incidences des pratiques en matière d'aménagement forestier sur le rendement de plusieurs produits et les méthodes d'inventaire des produits forestiers autres que le bois. Maintenant, la recherche porte aussi progressivement sur les aspects relatifs au marché et à la commercialisation; les analyses du marché et de la consommation vont donc être de plus en plus fréquentes. C'est déjà le cas dans les efforts de commercialisation des exportations entrepris par les organisations non gouvernementales, en particulier dans la partie extrême orientale de la Russie.

Les activités menées par des ONG ont également visé à inclure l'aménagement forestier durable dans la question de la commercialisation des produits. Mais, par exemple dans la région de Khabarovsk, cela s'est fait de façon négative : un texte figurait sur les étiquettes des produits forestiers autres que le bois indiquant que la récolte de ce produit représente le seul mode d'exploitation forestière durable dans la région. Ainsi, par un mode d'approche négatif ou critique, les produits forestiers autres que le bois ont bénéficié d'une promotion et ont gagné des clients.

Le projet pilote de foresterie mis en œuvre par la Banque mondiale permettra d'aborder la commercialisation de façon plus positive pour la foresterie, et les produits forestiers autres que le bois seront davantage intégrés à la planification de la gestion globale, par exemple en utilisant la méthode d'aménagement écologique du paysage. Les activités menées sous l'égide du WWF se sont jusqu'ici concentrées sur la foresterie mais dans le projet pilote de foresterie par exemple mis en œuvre dans la République de Komi, les produits forestiers autres que le bois ont également été intégrés et constituent un élément essentiel de l'aménagement forestier en général et de la certification en particulier dans la région expérimentale.

Toutefois, de nombreuses mesures sont prises dans ce domaine au plan international. C'est la raison pour laquelle il est essentiel que les instituts de recherche russes et les ONG suivent l'évolution internationale. Il est tout aussi essentiel que les forestiers, qui se livrent souvent activement à la cueillette et à l'utilisation de produits forestiers autres que le bois, prennent une part plus dynamique à ces activités. Il faut ainsi considérer les produits forestiers autres que le bois comme un élément de l'utilisation forestière au même titre que l'utilisation économique classique des forêts, exploitées pour le bois, et comparer la valeur qu'ils représentent avec les autres utilités que la forêt a pour l'environnement. Ensuite, on sera peut-être plus proche d'une utilisation plus avisée et mesurée selon des critères objectifs des forêts que ce n'est le cas aujourd'hui. Pour déterminer comment mettre en œuvre les plans il faudra mettre au point des méthodes d'aménagement forestier intégrées et plus complètes. Ainsi, la certification et la chaîne de responsabilité pour les produits forestiers autres que le bois se développeront de la façon la plus fiable et vérifiable qui soit.

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