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EUROPEAN CHESTNUT WHITE PAPER

2019


European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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1


EUROPEAN CHESTNUT WHITE PAPER

2019 By the EUROCASTANEA network and AREFLH

EUROCASTANEA, A network, An ambition A common vision: '' Relaunching the European production to meet the demand from the fresh and processing markets, creating added value and developping consumption ''

Key figures of the chestnut ecosystem in Europe : •

Forestry area – 2 000 000 ha

AgroForestry area : 300 000 ha, of which 110 000 ha in the EU

90 000 producers, of which 65 000 in the EU

European production : 212 000 tons, of which 150 000 tons in the EU

World production is estimated on 2 250 000 tons

Document updated 16/012/2019 European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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This White book was written by : Jean-Luc Bellat and Jacques Dasque, representatives of the Interprofessionel Chestnut Union from the South-west of France and of EUROCASTANEA With collaboration of : •

Bertrand Guérin, Interbranch Chestnut Union from the South-west of France

José Gomes Laranjo, UTAD and RefCast, Portugal; EUROCASTANEA coordinator

Juan Fernandez, Red Estatal de la Castaña, Spaing

Tatiana Castelloti, CREA-PB, Italy

Gabriele Loris Beccaro, Torino University, Italy

Laetitia Forget, AREFLH, France

And with the help of many scientific and technical experts.

EUROCASTANEA would like to thank them for their work, effort and expertise.

Contacts :

eurocastanea@areflh.org union.chataigne@gmail.com

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THE CHALLENGES TO FACE TOGETHER Eurocastanea shows a real ambition, a strong desire and a common action program that has the following goals :

1- Stoping the decline of the European chestnut orchard through an ambitious plantation program

2- Improving fruit quality and the health of orchards 3- Creating added value at all levels through innovation 4- Developing consumption in all its forms.

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CONTENTS 1-

EUROCASTANEA : A STRATEGY TO RELAUNCH THE EUROPEAN SECTOR...................................................... 6 Axis 1: stoping the decline of the European chestnut grove ..........................................................................................................................6 Axis 2 : improving the health status of the orchards............................................................................................................................................. 7 Axe 3 : creating added-value ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 Axis 4 : developing consumption ........................................................................................................................................................................................8 Axis 5: recognition of chestnut orchards in European policies .....................................................................................................................8

2-

CHESTNUT PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD ..................................................................................................................... 9 World values in 2017 ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................9 Production in Asia ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 12 CHINA : THE WORLD LEADER ......................................................................................................................................................................................12 THE CHESTNUT IN SOUTH KOREA ..........................................................................................................................................................................13 THE CHESTNUT IN JAPAN ..............................................................................................................................................................................................15 European production in details .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 17 CHESTNUT IN ITALY ............................................................................................................................................................................................................21 PRODUCTION IN PORTUGAL ....................................................................................................................................................................................... 23 PRODUCTION IN SPAIN .................................................................................................................................................................................................... 24 PRODUCTION IN FRANCE .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 PRODUCTION IN GREECE ............................................................................................................................................................................................... 29 PRODUCTION IN TURKEY ...............................................................................................................................................................................................30 PRODUCTION IN AUSTRIA ............................................................................................................................................................................................. 32 Emerging producing countries ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 34 AUSTRALIA ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 34 CHILE .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 35 THE UNITED STATES ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................36

3-

TRADE ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 European trade ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 37 IMPORTS IN THE EU ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 37 EXPORTS IN THE EU ........................................................................................................................................................................................................... 37 Trade between European countries .............................................................................................................................................................................40 ITALY ...............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................40 PORTUGAL ..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................41 SPAIN .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 42 FRANCE ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 43 GREECE ......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 45

4-

CONSUMPTION and PROCESSING IN EUROPE ...........................................................................................................46 Consumption .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 46 Processing ........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 47

5-

MICRO-ECONOMIC ELEMENTS ..........................................................................................................................................49 The case of France..................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 49

6-

EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES ................................................................................................................................................. 51 The assets ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................51 The constraints.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 54

7-

CONCLUSION ............................................................................................................................................................................56

8-

EUROCASTANEA NETWORK PRESENTATION ........................................................................................................... 57

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Crédit photo : www.la-ferme-du-chatenet.fr

1- EUROCASTANEA : A EUROPEAN SECTOR

STRATEGY

TO

RELAUNCH

THE

Keywords : Investment, planting, research, product innovation, quality, communication, marketing

Axis 1: stoping the decline of the European chestnut grove The sector’s main objective is to provide the means to quickly reverse the declining trend of the European chestnut production, in order to retreive the production level of the 1960’s (400 000 tonnes) by strong, proactive and coordinated actions between the EUROCASTANEA countries. The European chestnut market is highly deficitary, chestnut demand is actually high for both fresh and transformed products, still, the production does not meet this demand. In order to maintain the 2000’s production, professionals are convinced of the importance to implement, in a deliberate and concerted manner, a plantation programme of 40 000 ha during the next 10 years. This requires: •

collective professional and interprofessional dynamics in the chestnut producter countries

a strong support from national and regional public authorities to design finantial politics to support new investments in plantations and in the other levels within the sector

Renewing the chestnut orchards with regional and national plantation programmes •

Supporting plantation programmes for new orchards of hybrid and traditional varieties.

Supporting stump grafting programmes.

Relaunching breeding programmes of varieties and rootstocks

Helping the renewal of the old traditional orchards: weeding, pruning, regrafting, replanting, etc.

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Developing the second pillar measures through agri-environmental measures (AEM) adapted to the chestnut grove (by country or region) to compensate for the natural disadvantage of this production whose contribution to the preservation of the environment is undeniable.

Axis 2 : improving the health status of the orchards The objective: producing quality fruits

The European production is severely handicapped by the persistence of fungal diseases and pests for which any effective control method exists. These are main challenges for the whole European chestnut sector:

Fighting against diseases and pests, in particular the following ones : •

The gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphillus): We have to continue our work on controlling it (via biological control with the introduction of Torymus sinensis, via monitoring of varietal sensitivities and also by monitoring theyr progress, both pest and parasitoide),

Fruit rots and worms: it is important to accentuate research and control work to improve the health of the orchard. The objective is to limit the fruit losses related to crooked fruit (by Cydia sp. and Curculio elephas) or affected by rotting, (in particular due to Gnomoniopsis castanea) which can damage 30 to 40% of the production every year,

The Phytophtora Root Rot (PRR) (due to Phytophthora sp.) which causes numerous trees deaths and is developing a lot,

The blight bark disease (due to Chryphonectrya parasitica) which causes strong lesions on the bark of the branches.

Amplifying research, in particular on the following points: •

Varieties and rootstocks with more tolerance against diseases, the different edaphoclimatic conditions of produter regions, especially under water stress conditions, in a context of global warming, further accentuated under the Mediterranean climate, and adapted to the market request,

Technical production respectful of the environment,

Harvesting techniques guaranteeing optimal quality,

Storage techniques preserving fruit quality

Axe 3 : creating added-value The objective : innovating, searching for new products, and new environment-friendly packages. Developing a range of farm and industrial processed products The observation of the Asian markets clearly shows that the range of processed products can be very wide and can include products with high added value for both the producer and the processor. The possibilities of progressing through innovation are numerous, they include : • product and packaging innovations •

tangible and intangible investments

training

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Identifying the productions of the European regions by their quality labels Consumer demand is very strong for certified quality and products of origin. The chestnut has an asset : it is a strong origin-linked product, with an identity, a traditional and natural image. Many European chestnut-producing regions have implemented a quality label such as PGI, PDO. The low production volumes of the chesnut imply a likewise small impact at EU level. So, it is necessary to increase the visibility and notoriety of the products by communication and promotion actions.

Strengthening the organisation of the sector Producer Organisations, national and regional interprofessionels are the basis of any strategy to renew and stimulate the European sector. They are the stakeholders of our European Chestnut Network, EUROCASTANEA, they allow constant and fruitful exchanges of experiences and good practices. In this context, an example of concerted action was the development of biological control against the gall wasp. It helped to quickly stop the disease from speading.

Axis 4 : developing consumption The objective : increasing the consumption of chestnuts it all its forms Communicating to distributers ans consumers Two main points can be suggested: •

Bringing added-value to the fruit. The main function of the chestnut orchard is to produce nuts for human consumption. The European chestnut has remarkable assets and they must be highlighted by an adapted communication policy towards consumers and agri-food professionals,

Promoting the chestnut orchard and its socio-economic impact in fragile rural areas: information and awareness actions on the heritage character of chestnut groves should be held. Its touristic value and its positive impact on landscape and biodiversity must be broadcast.

Axis 5: recognition of chestnut orchards in European policies The chestnut orchards must continue to be taken into account by the two pillars (direct aid and rural development of the future common agricultural policy): The European Union's Structural Funds must also be implemented: •

The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) : to strengthen economic and social cohesion within the European Union by correcting regional imbalances. The territories on which most of the chestnut orchards are located are in areas with strong natural geographical handicaps (isolated countryside, mountains or sparsely populated regions).

The European Social Fund (ESF) : for the support of projects for employment.

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2- CHESTNUT PRODUCTION IN THE WORLD

World values in 2017 World production increases slightly, according to the FAO: 2 251 209 tons in 2017

World production is located in two main geographical areas, Asia and the Mediterranean Europe supported by three species of chestnut: • Castanea crenata in Japan • •

Castanea mollissima in China Castanea sativa in Europe

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In Europe, Castanea sativa hybrid varieties with the other two species were created from 1950 onwards for their better resistance to diseases affecting European chestnut (PRR, attacking the roots). These varieties continue to be developped. The main producing zones are: • in Asia: China, North and South Korea and Japan, •

in the Mediterranean Europe: Turkey, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain and France,

in other world regions: Australia, Chile, New Zeland and United States.

High density chestnut orchard

Please note the following points regarding the sources of the figures mentioned in this White book: We mainly have two sources of information on production volumes in the countries mentioned: on one side, the official one from the FAO and on the other side, those from Member States, regions and professionals. These two sources do not always match. To present the global statistics, we have kept the FAO data. With regards to country situations, we have used the information provided by the national representatives.

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Continental variation of chestnut production between 2011-2017 (tons) (Source: FAO)

Continent Asia South America Europe Oceania Africa Total

2011 1 788 188 500 187 628 2 000 206 1 887 892

2012 1 804 894 920 197 033 2 000 215 1 956 469

2013 1 816 594 1 100 200 159 2 000 221 1 961 465

2014 1 773 923 1 100 195 644 2 200 199 1 982 876

2015 1 752 888 1 066 205 430 2 200 134 1 971 149

2016 1 986 402 3 040 203 562 2 200 212 2 205 777

2017 2 023 723 2 583 212 301 2 200 214 2 251 209

NB: FAO statistics are the only official data available. Some of them are controversial. The country profiles that follow take into account the estimates from the professionals.

Evolution of the asian and European productions (1961-2014)

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Production in Asia Country variation of chestnut production between 2011-2017 (tons) (Source: FAO).

Country|Continent Asia China North Korea Japan South Korea

2011 1 788 188 1 693 502 11 000 19 100 64 586

2012 1 804 894 1 709 649 12 000 20 900 62 345

2013 1 816 594 1 719 410 12 000 21 000 64 184

2014 1 773 923 1 683 815 12 156 21 400 56 552

2015 1 752 888 1 668 895 12 100 16 300 55 593

2016 1 986 402 1 903 939 12 363 16 500 53 600

2017 2 023 723 1 939 719 12 540 18 700 52 764

NB: FAO statistics are the only official data available. Some of them are controversial. The country profiles that follow take into account the estimates from the professionals.

CHINA : THE WORLD LEADER The country’s production indicators: •

Its production has quadrupled in 20 years,

1.9 million hectares of trees were planted in the last 20 years,

National consumption absorbs 90% of its production,

It is the world's largest producer, although production volumes are not always very clear: o

around 1.940.000 tons according to the FAO,

o

around 1.800.000 to 2.200.000 tons according to the Chinese experts met during the Eurocastanea mission in May 2016.

The context Less than 30 years ago, production took an economic turn, spurred on by the chinese government. It turned it into a fullyfledged sector with industrialized production to satisfy the internal market. In fact, in 1998, the central government decided to launch a forest-planting program that was granted to farmers. It is the chestnut which was chosen to be massively planted, because it is resistant and adapting well to the topographic and climatic conditions. It would prevent new floods. The chestnut is naturally present in 26 Chinese provinces from Hainan to Jilin, (with a 23° latitude difference, and with an altitude ranging from 50m in Jiangsu to 2800m in Yunnan). In China, peasants do not own their land. It is rented by the state for periods of 30, 50 or 70 years (usually 30 years). Between 1 and a few Mus are granted per adult (1 Mu = 666 m2). The peasants can sublet it. They receive compensation from the state or processing companies.

A sector supported and controlled by the government The government has succeeded in setting up a chestnut sector in its own right by creating production and provoking consumption from scratch. The government controls the process: land concession, dissemination of information to farmers, provision of seedlings and processing equipment (farmers buy nothing, they only use), business orientation, regional experimentation centers. But according to some Chinese experts contacted, sales prices Processed products made from chestnuts. have been very low in recent years. As a result, producers invest little in new orchards. In addition, because of rising labour costs, young people are losing interest in this production in favour of working in cities. European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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Companies that invest in chestnuts Companies create a large number of new products to satisfy a huge market that exceeds one billion consumers (individual consumption, nibbling).

Rising consumption, both traditional and modern The consumption of chestnut is part of Chinese culture. It mixes family tradition and medicinal virtues. In China, it is advisable to eat seven chestnut a day because it treats the kidneys. Traditionally, the consumption of chestnut is seasonal, over two seasons (autumn + winter) with a peak at the time of major holidays. During these periods, the chestnut is consumed fresh and in a family way (marketing in bulk packaging): grilled, boiled, steamed, flourbased products (mixed with wheat flour, corn, millet), consumed raw and as a vegetable. Mostly grilled in very hot sand (for fruit cooking to be even), with sugar, it is sold on the street in autumn and winter. A large part of the harvest is mostly consumed locally (directly by peasant families) and so it does not enter the processing/distribution circuits. Thanks to the new processed products created by the industry, in spring and summer, stocks of chestnuts can be sold in different forms (with suitable packaging). With a population that is becoming more urbanized, consumption is evolving towards a nomad one, that is, snacking: chestnut peeled or grilled with its skin in 100 grams packs, ready-to-cook ingredients and even beverages based on chestnut purée.

Views on the big export but an internal market that remains largely dominant A few large and dynamic companies are targeting large-scale export and some have started working in Europe, like the LORRAIN group. Nevertheless, the majority of the companies sell their production on the domestic market, and in the near Asian market which also has a strong chestnut culture which remains very interesting and accessible (Japan, Korea, Philippines, and up to Russia)

THE CHESTNUT IN SOUTH KOREA South Korea is the second world producer with 82.300 tons in 2010 and 53.000 tons in 2017. In 2005, the AREFLH experts who visited the country reported 70.000 tons. Production seems to have stabilized now around 55.000 tons. The country’s entire chestnut tree orchards comes from the country's economic development programme started in the 1970’s. Large-size fruits are exported mainly to Japan as fresh produce and more and more as processed products. As this market is strongly challenged by China, an export program to Europe has been launched since 2008. Productive orchards in Korea are generally composed of hybrid chestnuts both Japanese and Chinese that are resistant to the gall wasp and other diseases. The chestnut is considered by the Koreans as a highly nutritious fruit, very important in case of famine. The chestnuts are eaten fresh or grilled in winter. A new production of marrons glacés, as well as chestnut cakes is developing. Korea is a country almost entirely mountainous. It is noted that UAA is rare and valuable. The hyper-dominant production in the flat lands is rice and the greenhouses are mostly present near the cities. Other productions are those of ginseng and peppers. The non-cultivable mountainous part of the country is wooded. The chestnuts are on the slopes but never in the valley. Because of its mountainous terrain and sloping orchards, Korea has little use of mechanization. In addition, pesticides have damaged the soil, changing its pH, becoming too acidic. Korean Forest Research promotes the use of organic pesticides. The biggest problem for producers are : European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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•

finding workforce,

•

and reversing the aging trend of producers.

Chestnut indicators between 2014 and 2017 in South Korea

2014

2015

2016

2017

Surface (in ha)

33 000

30 764

30 741

30 204

Productivity (kg/ha)

18 020

18 071

17 436

17 469

Production (in tonnes)

59 465

55 593

53 600

52 764

Source : updadted report from the Eurocastanea / Interco mission to South Korea

Production, exports and imports between 1997 and 2016 :

The main imports of chestnuts from South Korea, increased on average by 2,3% per year from 2007 to 2017. Table of main chestnut imports from South Korea

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Table of main recipient countries for South Korean chestnut exports:

Source : updadted report from the Eurocastanea / Interco mission to South Korea

THE CHESTNUT IN JAPAN The analysis of production statistics and surfaces planted with chestnut trees in Japan shows that they are decreasing, from 20 200 ha in 2014 to 18 300 ha in 2018, mainly because of producers abandoning orchards. Since the 1970’s the younger generations are not interested anymore in this production. Chestnut production between 1950 and 2018 in Japan

Year

Production

Source

1950

27 000 ton

SNICM Mission 1979

1970

50 000 ton

‘’

‘’

1977

59.000 ton

‘’

‘’

2010

23 500 ton

FAO

2014

21.400 ton

FAO

2018

18.500 ton

Eurocastanea

The chestnut is at the 88th place in the list of Japan’s agricultural products, for a turnover of 60 million euros in 2017. The country’s main production areas are: • Ishizuchi •

Rihei

Ginyose

Tanzawa

Tsukubala

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The decline of production volumes lead to an increase of prices. The oldest recorded culture in Japan is that of Choukouji dating from 1590 in the Tonba District. The gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphillus) appeared in 1941. In 1958, it is present in the whole country. Castanea mollissima is sensible to D. kuryphillus and, at the time, hybridization programmes of Castanea crenata with C. molissima stopped. Only auto-hybridizations of C. crenata were created to produce new varieties. In 1979, Torymus sinensis was introduced and released by the NIFTS in 1981 and 1982. The gall wasp is now under control, the attack cycle being known, every 5 to 7 years. In 1947 research concentrated on the caliber, then in 1952 a programme of varietal creation resulted in the creation of 6 varieties including a resistant one named Ishishu. A selection on chestnut skin was used for a variety called Porotan. Today the selection is on late varieties. Japan is an interesting and profitable market for delicatessen products.

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European production in details Evolution of the European production Depending on the source, the European production in 2017 (excluding Turkey) weighed between 145 000 tons (source : sector’s professionals) and 151 000 tons (source : FAOSTAT). The production who was very important in European countries in the 19th century, has declined sharply due to diseases, and then collapsed from the 1960’s onwards. Chestnuts were the staple food of rural populations until the potato and cereals replaced them. The decline of the production follows the evolution of the rural populations. Although some of the volumes produced are consumed locally, most of the volumes harvested are placed on the market. The assessment made by FAO does not take into account the fall in production recorded in Italy due to the gall wasp, which some experts estimate is between 25 000 and 30 000 tons in 2018.

The main European chestnut productions in the past 20 years. (Source : Eurostat)

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Evolution of the European production 140

Production (tons)

120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1961 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2002 2005 2010 2012 2015 2016 2017

Titre de l'axe FRANCE

GREECE

ITALY

PORTUGAL

SPAIN

TURKEY

Evolution of production in the main European chestnut producing countries (tons) between 1960 and 2017. 2017

2016

2015

2014

15 623

16 178

16 413

16 136

15 300

France

8 406

8 642

7 943

8 668

Greece

36 000

28 280

30 049

Italy

52 356

52 240

Portugal

29 875

26 780

Country/ Region Spain

2012

2010

2005

2000

1990

1980

1970

1960

17 900

8 629

9 230

23 605

24 303

81 700

99 000

8 675.5

9 376

8 144

13 224

13 560

24 428

47 670

71 230

28 440

28 700

20 900

19 086

15 303

10 882

14 300

17 469

12 634

51 601

51 959

27 628

18 465

52 000

48 810

52 000

50 000

49 559

63 384

66 431

123 854

19 100

22 350

22 327

33 317

20 405

20 224

91 663

82 000

Turkey

62 904

64 750

63 750

63 762

57 881

59 171

50 000

50 000

80 000

58 500

48 000

38 400

Total

205 164

196 870

197 384

187 430

181 656.5

178 507

160 186

171 074

198 011

205 139

352 933

427 118

9.1

8.9

10.0

9.5

9.3

9.3

12.4

19.2

44.9

45.3

64.3

73.1

Total (% World)

Sources of the table and the chart : European Commission (1961-2015) and AREFLH

Production in the European countries not mentioned above, 2011-2017 (tons). Country|Região

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2006

Albânia

6 226

6 040

6 600

6 590

3 984

5 800

5 200

5 290

5 000

Bosnia

1 154

1 137

1 114

1 111

1 000

1 000

1 000

1 000

920

Bulgaria

509

505

456

410

441

430

430

440

350

Slovakia

1

1

2

1

30

30

30

31

32

Slovenia

63

76

55

17

5

7

13

38

40

Hungary

511

239

265

300

300

330

256

280

426

Latvia

50

50

50

50

50

Macedonia

372

379

392

443

584

600

600

584

385

Poland

400

413

403

400

460

460

451

393

54

Romania

0

30

33

35

26

25

25

32

29

22

Suiça

150

177

44

44

265

263

261

259

252

Ucránia

228

226

200

200

300

250

200

200

152

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Total

9 644

9 226

9 566

9 592

7 444

9 245

8 523

8 594

7 633

0.43

0.41

0.49

0.48

0.38

0.47

0.45

0.45

0.53

Total (% World)

NB: FAO statistics are the only official data available. Some of them are controversial. The country profiles that follow take into account the estimates from the professionals.

The chestnut is many eaten in two different ways : •

Consumption of the fresh fruits: this first mode of consumption is a niche and seems to be regressing.

Processed product: fruits are peeled and processed before being eaten (chestnut flour, mashed chestnuts and creams, whole chestnuts (peeled or frozen), canned chestnuts, candied chestnuts, etc.).

Production location The European chestnut production is located in medium-altitude zones, from 200 to 1 000 meters, in areas with natural impediments, where no other agricultural production could replace it. Chestnut production plays a decisive role in the economic, social and environmental balance of these territories. When the chestnut trees are abandoned the landscape becomes a wasteland, the consequence being the end of any possibility of economic development of these difficult soils.

Family economy In the vast majority of cases, this production is based on a traditional family economy. The rural exodus in these difficult territories still leads today to the abandonment of the chestnut orchards.

The types of orchards Most of the chestnut groves are old and suffer from natural dieback due to the age of the trees, diseases, especially the disease Phytophthora root rot (PRR) (Phytophtora cinnanomi), and since 2002, the arrival of an insect native to China, the gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus), which can cause a decline in production up to 80%. Restructuring programs for these chestnut trees by severe pruning have made it possible to maintain or even restore production in many European regions. Although, overall the trees and the production areas continue to decline. Several European regions have developed programs for new chestnut orchards using: • local varieties : this is particularly the case in the northern regions of Portugal, which has seen its national production increase significantly over the past 10 years. •

Hybrid varieties created in France by INRA since the 1960’s. The breeding program continues nowadays (collaboration between INRA, CTIFL and INVENIO). These varieties are called hybrids because they were created by crossing Castanea sativa (Europe), C. crenata (Japan) and C.mollissima (China). The objective is to obtain varieties more resistant to diseases. It will now be necessary to take into account their adaptation to climate change.

A new orchard has been developed with the varieties Marigoule and Bouche de Bétizac, mainly in southwestern France and more recently in other European regions.

The mechanisation (of the harvest in particular) and the technical itinerary are relatively well mastered. Currently-cultivated varieties produce large fruit for the fresh market. New varieties are being developed (like Bellefer) to supply the processing industry. Planting new orchards from traditional varieties or new varieties is an important alternative to the fall of European production for the future of chestnuts.

A way to renew the existing orchards Research and experimentation programs are also under way in France to identify rootstocks that are tolerant to diseases and adapted to the conditions of production in dry regions. They will make it possible to develop European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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19


the plantation of C. sativa or hybrid varieties. In particular, they aim to fill empty spaces left in old orchards due to tree mortality.

The gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus) : a major pest in Europe Without any predators to control it, the gall wasp is probably the most important pest of of the chestnut tree. Affected trees do not develop completely due to the deformations generated by the pest. Depending on the level of infestation, the gall wasps can cause: • a loss of vigor of the tree, •

a 50 to 80% drop in fruit production

mortality of affected twigs and branches, especially on dry years. The tree only dies if it is already affected by other diseases.

This small insect is native from China. In Europe, was first time discovered in Italy in 2002, it has dispersed to the other European countries: France (2005), Slovenia (2005), Hungary (2009), Switzerland (2009). The C. Sativa or hybrid varieties are all sensitive to the pest but their sensitivity varies depending on the variety.

Young chestnut tree affected by the gall wasp

The plague on branches

All European countries are currently contaminated by the gall wasp and production is greatly affected. The only control method in the orchard is a biological one, where the parasitoid Torymus sinensis is released. Currently all the affected countries use this control plan. Its implementation must be intensified and maintained because the gall wasp is still present or in strong progression depending on the area. Biological control is slow to produce its effects. It takes several years for the population of Torymus to be large enough to lower the number of gall wasp. A fall in production for a few years is inevitable in the affected regions. To offset this temporary drop in production and to avoid many orchards to be abandoned (a fact which accentuates the structural decline in European production), a specific support programme for producers is essential.

Gnomoniopsis castanea For two years now, in certain areas there has been the development of certain fruit mushrooms, such as Gnomoniopsis Castanea in particular, which cause heavy losses for producers and commercial operators.

Chestnuts affected by the gnomoniopsis rot

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CHESTNUT IN ITALY The main italian production areas are Campania (9 517 ha for 3 500 farms), Tuscany (5 675 ha for 2 270 farms), Calabria (7 608 ha for 2 484 farms), Piedmont (7 518 ha for 4 289 farms) Latium (1 007 ha for 2 407 farms) and Emilia-Romagna (5 662 ha for 1 491 farms). The plots of chestnut are small or medium-sized. 40% of the surface of the Italian chestnut grove is included in the class of UAA 0 - 5 ha, while the average area planted is about 1 ha. It should be noted that some statistical data show very large areas but only a part of them is actually cultivated. The ungrafted chestnut forest produce smaller caliber chestnuts, they are used for dehydrated products and flour. Chestnut farms, area by region in 2016 and area variation Area variation (%)

Farm number variation (%)

2016/2010

2010/2000

2016/2010

2010/2000

9 517

-33.5

-13.2

-46.8

-50.1

7 608

-14.9

-39.5

-48.0

-61.3

4 289

7 518

12.7

-30.5

5.8

-42.6

Toscana

2 270

5 675

-55.4

-35.6

-57.5

-38.1

Emilia-Romagna

1 491

5 662

80.9

-35.9

-5.0

-44.7

Lazio

1 007

2 407

-40.5

-31.8

-51.2

-66.3

Liguria

532

752

-16.7

-42.5

-35.4

-48.4

Abruzzo

118

668

96.9

-31.4

-17.5

-63.3

Basilicata

201

640

-47.4

-11.8

-66.8

-65.6

Trentino-Alto Adige

511

524

62.3

-11.9

-7.4

-42.7

Marche

227

401

-54.2

-55.5

-57.9

-62.1

Veneto

260

354

-6.5

-44.0

-37.3

-52.4

Umbria

196

321

-43.2

-49.2

-40.8

-62.7

Sicilia

482

292

-38.7

-52.3

-39.3

-76.2

Lombardia

150

245

-75.7

-7.6

-80.9

-49.0

Sardegna

65

109

-82.4

-56.3

-78.6

-81.7

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

49

24

-60.2

-12.8

22.5

-66.1

Valle d'Aosta

6

2

-97.2

-80.3

-97.8

-69.2

Molise

nd

nd

nd

-67.0

nd

-61.9

Puglia

nd

nd

nd

-27.8

nd

-55.0

Italia

17 839

42 719

-24.8

-54.3

-41.0

-31.6

Farms (nÂş)

Area (ha)

Campania

3 501

Calabria

2 484

Piemonte

Source: ISTAT, Censimenti Agricoltura 2000 e 2010 et Indagine SPA 2016 Chestnut production in Italy between 2019 and 2018 (tons).

Production (tons) Years

Source : Turin Uni.

Source : FAO

2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

31 000 34 000 39 000 42 000 45 000

52 948 49 054 48 705 50 889 50 399 ‌.

45 000 (estimation)

Since 2009, production has drastically dropped due to health problems caused by heavy attacks of the gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus). This brought Italian production to its lowest level ever, in 2014. Today's

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production is recovering significantly, particularly in northern Italy, thanks to the positive results achieved by fighting the gall wasp, with biological control that uses the parasitoids Torymus sinensis. Production in 2017 has been estimated by professional experts at around 30 000 tons. For that year of strong fluctuations, professional and institutional data differ. The italian chestnut production is organised and suported by Local Action Groups, their quality signs led to the creation of 9 PGIs and 5 DOPs. Table of quality signs (PGI, DOP, etc.) production, processing and operators- 2016 Productions PRODUCTS

Processing

Total

Producers/proc essors (nยบ)

2 5 3 1 3 2 5 54 2 6 1 2 3

84 28 29 23 118 28 33 102 81 20 29 9 7

2 2 1 4 3 1 1

-

9

37

7

-

9

9

8

Producers (nยบ)

Area (ha)

Companies

82 23 26 22 117 28 29 52 79 17 28 8 5

208.4 80.5 96.7 37.2 663.4 16.9 183.8 39.7 89.7 79.6 49.3 31.8 16.9

Miele della Lunigiana

PGI PGI PGI DOP PGI PGI DOP PGI PGI PGI PGI DOP DOP DOP DOP

35

Miele delle Dolomiti Bellunesi

DOP

8

Castagna del Monte Amiata Castagna di Cuneo Castagna di Montella Castagna di Vallerano Marrone del Mugello Marrone della Valle di Susa Marrone di Caprese Michelangelo Marrone di Castel del Rio Marrone di Combai Marrone di Monfenera Marrone di Rocca d'Aspide Marrone di San Zeno Farina di castagne della Lunigiana Farina di Neccio della Garfagnana

Operation (nber)

(1) (2)

Source ISTAT

Chestnut production by region, in Italy

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PRODUCTION IN PORTUGAL Source of the following informations : RefCast-Associação Portuguesa da Castanha/Jose Gomes Laranjo

The production of Portuguese chestnuts is more than 34 000 tons for a total surface of almost 39 000 ha (according to the Portuguese Institute of Statistics). The average price is growing, reaching 2.78 €/kg in 2018. Portuguese production 2012-2018

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

34 810

35 170

35 350

35 600

35 720

36 760

38 870

0.66

0.85

0.63

0.93

0.90

0.81

0.88

Production (tons)

18 926

24 463

18 465

27 337

26 537

29 875

33 929

Price (€/kg)

1.64

1.74

2.16

1.5

1.791

2.07

2.78

Surface (Ha) Yield (tons/Ha)

The main production areas are organised around 4 Protected Designations of Origin, which are located in Alto Douro, Trás-os-Montes, Beira interior and Alentejo regions in high-altitude areas, between 600 m and 1 200 m. Today, orchards are beginning to be established on the fertile land of Minho, at sea level. The surfaces, having greatly diminished because of Phytophtora Root Rot, are now being replanted (10 000 ha planted from the beginning of the XX century) and the fruit production is more and more important. However, it does not meet the demand. In these mountain-farming regions, the chesnut has a vital environmental and social role as it maintains marginal agro-systems and it participates in the maintenance and conservation of the landscape heritage. Portugal is a very important exporter of chestnuts. The volume has increased in recent years because of the problems encountered in other European countries with the gall wasp. In 2014 Portugal exported almost 20 000 t, for almost 60 M €. On the contrary, imports are around 1 500 t, for a value of 3.7 million euros. The 4 chestnut DOP : DOP Terra Fria

(pink), DOP Padrela (blue), DOP Soutos da Lapa (vert) and DOP Marvão/Portalegre (yellow).

Portugal – Trade of chestnut (2012 – 2017)

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

Export (t)

13 820

18 992

19 459

18 186

18 041

13 757

Export (M€) Export s(€/kg)

33.5

53.5

57.2

41.2

40.6

38.8

2.42

2.81

2.94

2.27

2.25

2.82

Import (t)

3 129

3 483

2 866

1 832

1 766

1 500

Import (M€) Import (€/kg)

6.7

8.4

7.2

3.6

3.1

3.7

2.14

2.42

2.51

1.98

1.73

2.44

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PRODUCTION IN SPAIN Sources of the informatin for this section : Red Estatal del Catano

The Spanish production of chestnut, after having fallen sharply, has now been on the upswing for a few years. This is both due to an active renewal and planting policy in the regions of Galicia and Castilla y León, and to a positive evolution of average yields that can reach 1.5 to 3 tons per ha. The main production areas are Galicia and Castilla y León, Andalusia and Extremadura. There are also forest chestnuts in Asturias, Catalunha and Bizkaia but their production is not significant. In total, more than 270 000 ha are devoted to the chestnut (wood and fruit),

Extremadura region •

Production quantities are between 4 000 and 5 000 tons,

Main variety : Verata

Areas : around Villuercas : 1 500-2 000 tons, and around the north of Cáceres and Valencia de Alcántara,

Area : 10 000 ha,

Main diseases : Cryphonectria parasítica, PRR (Phytophthora cambivora y Phytophthora Cinnamomi). An orchard in Guadalupe Extremadura

Castilla y León Chestnut production (2015 - 2018)

Production (tons) Province

2015

2016

2017

2018

Ávila

920

920

700

715

León

8 000

8 100

2 289

6 838

Salamanca

190

90

40

80

Zamora

500

350

225

500

Total for Castilla y León

9 610

9 460

3 254

8 133

Burgos

Main varieties : Negral, Parede, Raigona, De Presa

Area : 28 400 ha.

Main diseases:

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o

Blight of chestnut (Cryphonectria parasítica).

o

PRR (Phytophthora cambivora and Phytophthora Cinnamomi).

o

Fruit disease: Ciboria batschiana (Zopf) , Phomopsis castanea (Sacc) and Gnomoniopsis castanea.

o

Main pests:

o

Gall wasp (Dryocosmus kuriphilus).

o

Zeurzera pyrina and Xileborus dispar

Andalusia In total, Andalusia in 2008 has 9 000 ha of chestnut trees. •

Province of Málaga : •

production 4 500 tons,

main varieties : Temprana De Jubrique and Pilonga,

Area : 3 800 ha,

Main diseases :

o

PRR and gall wasp

Province of Huelva :

production 2 000 tons;

main varieties: Helechal and Comisaria.

Area : 5 200 ha

Main diseases :

o

PRR and blight (which now seems to reach broader areas )

Galicia Chestnut production (2014 – 2018)

Years

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Production (tons)

18 000

21 000

17 000

10 000

15 000

The number of existing varieties in Galicia is over 80, the main ones are: Negral - Famosa Amarelante - Parede - Ventura – Raigona

The total tree area is more than 70 000 ha, 50 000 ha are used for production but only 40 000 ha really produce fruits.

The main disseases are: o

Blight of the Chestnut (Cryphonectria parasítica).

o

PRR (Phytophthora cambivora and Phytophthora Cinnamomi)

o

Fruit diseases: Ciboria batschiana (Zopf) , Phomopsis castanea (Sacc) and Gnomoniopsis castanea.

o

The main pests are :

o

Gall wasp,

o

Borer insects (Zeurzera pyrina and Xileborus dispar),

Other general facts The disease due to the gall wasp appeared in 2011 in Catolonia, then in 2019 in Calabria, Andalusia and Extremadura.

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PRODUCTION IN FRANCE Sources : Interfel/CTIFL/RMN MinAgri

The production decreased from 75 000 tons in 1961 to 12 000 tons in 2010, and 8 000 tons in 2017 (for a 2017 surface of 10 000 ha). French production is around 8 000 tons. It is mainly fresh consumed or exported. French manufacturers most often import peeled and frozen products from Italy, Spain or Portugal. The manufacture of chestnut cream and canned chestnuts thus absorbs a significant share of imports. The latter reached 6 700 tons (with their husk) and 2 000 tons of husked product (excluding frozen product), on average, between 2016 and 2019. A significant part of the product being processed (canned whole chestnuts, cream of chestnuts, candied chestnuts), it is difficult to estimate the consumption. The total consumption (fresh fruits and processed ones) is probably around 300 g per person per year. Production is provided by two types of orchards with their own characteristics: •

An old orchard called "traditional". It is the type orchard most encountered in France, as regards both surface and volume. It consists of dozens of varieties of the European species Castanea sativa. It comes from orchards that often are several hundred of years old. Mainly found in mountainous areas, zones with strong natural handicaps. This type of orchard plays a leading role in the balance of farming systems in less favored areas. Chestnut is often the only way to grow anything on the slopes where it is found.

A recent orchard with hybrid or traditional varieties. Hybrid varieties are usually derived from intentional crosses between European Castanea sativa and Japanese (Castanea crenata) or Chinese (Castanea mollissima) species. There is the fruit orchard and the forest orchard, the latter is very important in terms of surface. The fruit orchard consists of well-maintained areas, planted with selected chestnut trees for the production of fruit and derived mainly from grafted varieties and some « direct » varieties. The forest type of chestnut orchards has an estimated surface of 1 million hectares, or 50% of the European surface. It is the 3rd French forest species after oaks and ash trees. The French chestnut forest is largely derived from old orchards, some of which were cut in the twentieth century, especially for the exploitation of tannin. The gall wasp was first encountered in France in 2007 in the Alpes Maritimes and then from 2012 the whole country was contaminated. The organisation of biological control was coordinated from 2010 with the creation of a national steering committee under the influence of the national union of French chestnuts producers (the SNPC in French).

Table of French production in 2017 and 2018 9 000 8 000

2018

2017

moyenne quinquennale

7 000

tonnes

6 000 5 000 4 000 3 000 2 000 1 000 0 Sud-Ouest

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

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Source Agreste, France Agriculture Ministry

The main producing departments in 2016

The different uses of chestnut in France •

Consumption as fresh fruit The quantities offered for sale on the French market are estimated at around 5 000 tons, consumed in autumn, especially in October and November, where nearly two-thirds of sales are made. In general the size of the French chestnut do not exceed 60 fruits per kilogram. Healthy large-size early fruits are best valued.

Processing The French sector needs more and more imports of peeled and frozen products from producing countries (such as Portugal for example). o Canned fruits (35% of the production): whole chestnuts, canned in France from imported products. This type of processing requires fruit that are not partitioned, that can easily be mechanically peeled, between 85/105 fruits per kilo, with a firm flesh that does not disintegrate after canning. o

Jams/creams/purée (55% of the production): they are made from chestnuts of small sizes (> 100 fruits per kg). The French origin, without specifying the name of the variety, is still poorly valued.

o

Confectionery (10% of the production): candied chestnuts, and chestnuts with alcohol require non-partitioned fruits, which can easily be peeled, with a size ranging from 40 to 55 fruits per kilo, with a flesh that remains firm while being soft and not breaking after successive baths in the sugar syrup. Part of theses candied chestnut are made in France from Italian peeled and frozen chestnuts, the rest of the chestnut confectionery consumed in the France is directly imported from Italy as finished products..

o

Dry uses (flour for example): this type of product is under development. In a region like Corsica, it is even one of the main uses.

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French imports and exports Unsurprisingly, France's top suppliers are Spain, Italy and Portugal, while their most important customer is Germany France’s fresh chestnut imports (2014-2016)

France’s fresh chestnut exports (2014-2016)

Quality signs Two DOP, for Corsica and Ardèche, now exist. Then a « Châtaigne des Cévennes » DOP and Périgord PGI are currently are being prepared (2019) . The certification Red Label "Marron" was obtained in 2016 for large-size fruits.

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PRODUCTION IN GREECE Sources : Association of Imathia’s Agricultural Cooperatives/ Stephanos Diamandis

The production of Greek chestnut is poorly known. Orchards can be found mostly in mountain areas. It is estimated at 12 000 tons by professionals, on a surface of about 10 000 ha. Greece imports fresh chestnuts from Turkey and Portugal and processed products from Italy and Turkey.

Chestnut Tsoureki

Chestnut plantations have developed over the past 7 years due to higher prices (which more than doubled). Due to the fall in production in Italy Greek exports to this country have risen sharply. The producers reinvest in improvement measures for their orchards and a lot of trees have been planted. The Forest Research Institute encourages producers to plant Greek cultivars (such as Volos and Cretan) that are tasty and easy to peel. The use of hypo-virulent strains against the Chryphonectria parasitica disease has improved the health of orchards throughout the country and increased production. The fight against the PRR disease (Phytophtora Root Rot) has promising results. by application of potassium phosphite in 2018 and 2019 in the main regions. In 2014, the gall wasp entered Greece and expanded rapidly in many regions. The introduction of Torymus sinensis started in 2018 and the country hopes not to experience the same fall in production as Italy. Nevertheless the crops of 2019 and 2020 will certainly be affected. Climate change is also felt in the Mediterranean area. The months of June and July, traditionally dry, have episodes of rain and strong thunderstorms. A development of anthrachnosis is therefore observed. Finally, the development of rot (Gnomoniopsis castanea) is very worrying in many parts of the country. A research programme is needed. The chestnut industry is relatively small in Greece. Family businesses offer products such as syrup, chestnuts purée, and creams. A new processing unit is expected to start in 2020 in Arcadia and Peloponese.

Table of Greek chestnut production

Regions East Macedonia Central Macedonia Western Macedonia Ipirus Thessaly Ionian islands Western Greece Sterea Ellada Peloponnesus Northern Eegean Southern Eegean Crete Total

Source : Greek Ministry of Agriculture

Producers (nº) 72 325 462 80 930 120 188 302 967 113 1 377 3 937

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Farms (nº) 77 433 409 106 1 880 178 273 424 2 752 211 1 1009 7 753

Area (ha) 15.8 154.5 156.1 84.1 697.3 107.7 167.7 160.3 1275.1 116.8 0.25 286.9 3 054.8

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The regions : 1. Eastern Macedonia - Thrace 2. Central Macedonia 3. Western Macedonia 4. Ipirus 5. Thessaly 6. Ionian Islands 7. Western Greece 8. Sterea Ellada 9. Attiki 10. Peloponnesus 11. Northern Aegean 12. Southern Aegean 13. Kreta Island

PRODUCTION IN TURKEY Source : Izmir Chamber of Commerce / Turkey Statistic Institute (TSI)

Turkish production is estimated in 2018 at 63 580 tons. In the Aegean and Marmara regions, grafted cultivars for large-size chestnuts are preferred. In the Black Sea region, farmers harvest forest chestnut that are smaller but easy to peel. Turkey has traditional chestnut orchards, with an altitude between 400 and 1200 m). The main production areas are located in the Izmir and Odemis regions in the west, with 70% of the volumes (35 000 tons), as well as in the Bursa region, south of Istanbul, with 20% of the volumes (15 000 tons) and finally 6 000 to 10 000 tons in the northeastern region of the Black Sea. After having the peak productions at 90 000 tons in 1970, the quantities are declining. Tree dieback is reported by experts, particularly in the Bursa region (PRR disease).

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The main production areas in Greece

In 2016, production was 64 750 tons mainly in the provinces of Aydin (39.3%), İzmir (17.9%), Sinop (6.2%), Bartın (5.1%), Kastamonu (4.8%), Manisa (3.9%), Kütahya (3.8%), Denizli (3.3%), Bursa (3.3%), Zonguldak (2.1%), Balıkesir (1.9%), Çanakkale (1.8%) and other provinces (6.6%) (TSI, 2017). The chestnut orchards were formed from local forest varieties. Plantations have been decreasing since 1961 from 48 000 to nowadays at 39 000 ha. The productivity also decreased from 2 tons/ha to 1,7 tons/ha. The main cause of this decrease is mostly related to diseases (PRR and Cryphonectria parisitica)

Evolution of chestnut consumption in Turkey (Source : FAO 2018)

Exports and imports Turkey exports its production mainly as a fresh fruit for Europe: to Italy, France, Germany (thanks to its strong Turkish community), but also to Lebanon, Israel and the Arab countries of the Middle East. Exports in 2018 reached 9 886 tons. It is thought that future exports will dicrease a little. Exports : evolution quantities and values ( FAO 2018)

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Export quantity (t)

Export value (1000 US$)

14000

45000 40000

12000

35000 10000

30000

8000

25000

6000

20000 15000

4000

10000 2000

5000 2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

1999

1997

1995

1993

1991

1989

1987

1985

1983

1981

1979

1977

1975

1973

1971

1969

1967

1965

1963

0 1961

0

Figure 6. Turkey’s chestnut export quantity and value (FAO, 2018) Exports : variation between 1961 and 2015 (FAO 2018) Import quantity (t)

Import value (1000 US$)

2015

2013

2011

2009

2007

2005

2003

2001

1999

1997

1995

1993

1991

1989

100

0

1987

100 1985

200

1983

200

1981

300

1979

300

1977

400

1975

400

1973

500

1971

600

500

1969

600

1967

700

1965

700

1963

800

1961

800

0

Figure 7. Turkey’s chestnut import quantity and value (FAO, 2018) Imports : variation between 1961 and 2015 (FAO 2018) Policy In Turkey, chestnut domestic markets prices are determined based onIN theAUSTRIA mutual interaction between PRODUCTION supply and demand factors; therefore, there has not Sources : Johannes Schantl / ARGE Zukunft Edelkastanie been any government intervention, even though farmers could benefit promoting good agricultural

practices and organic agriculture (MFAL, 2017). Government policy is focused on funding research through public institutions such as the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock, Turkish Scientific Research Institution, universities, etc.

The chestnut has a strong historical significance in southern Austria. In the past, tree fruits in forests, especially at the edge of the woods, were collected and used for roasting and were consumed with the fermenting young wine (called storm). There is no data on harvest volume. According to some information and a survey 23 of the association ARGE Zukunft Edelkastanie, it is known that some farms sold more than 1000 kg of chestnut per year. Extrapolated from this information, the amount harvested in southern Styria was about 100 tons per year. In some areas of southern Styria, chestnuts also play an important role in the production of wood. In Austria, the chestnut is the third most important deciduous tree (with falling leaves) after beeches and oaks.

Chestnut forest tree in Styria (% of woodstock)

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In recent years, forest fruit picking has reduced the loss of old trees due to chestnut blight. On the other hand, the production of chestnuts planted in orchards has become more and more interesting. In fact, the Austrian Agricultural Markets Organization (AMA) has registered 111 hectares of chestnut orchards planted in the last 20 years. Most of them are located in Styria (92 ha), others in Lower Austria, Carinthia and Burgenland. Virtually the entire crop (so far without a formal statistical survey) is for the fresh market. There is a local organisation in Burgenland that processes 4 to 6 tonnes of chestnut cream per year. Currently, the country’s production covers only a small part of the demand. Nevertheless, chestnut is an interesting fruit to plant in large areas of meadows and is an extra production for fruit producers. The following organisations are trying to develop the attractiveness of the chestnut: In Styria: • College of fruit and viticulture Silberberg (www.silberberg.at) • ARGE Zukunft Edelkastanie (www.steirerkestn.at) In Burgenland: • Verein D'Kaestnklauba (www.kastanienfest.at/dkaestnklauba) •

Dans Carinthia:

Interessengemeinschaft Edelkastanie Oberes Drautal (www.edelkastanieoberesdrautal.at)

10 year chestnut grove in St. Johann, South West of Styria

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New orchard in Gnas, East Styria

Emerging producing countries The productions of the following countries are not yet reported by the FAO, however, thanks to exchanges between chestnut professionnals from around the world, we are aware of smaller productions in regions seldom talked about.

AUSTRALIA Source : Australian Chestnuts

The 2017 fresh chestnuts production was 1 200 tons, available from mid-March to July. The main region is Victoria in the south-east of the country with Italian varieties and French hybrids. Both fresh and transformed products are marketed nationwide.

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The varieties : • Buffalo Queen •

Bouche de Betizac

Red Spanish

De Coppi Marone

Purtons Pride

Intensive orchard in the Victoria area

CHILE Source : Vivero Austral Ltd

Chestnut production in Chile is small. There is a traditional production of seedling chestnuts from ungrafted trees that have been planted for ornamental reasons rather than for productive purposes. This production comes from isolated trees, planted next to the houses. For this reason, there are no reliable statistics on surfaces because the institution carrying out this work considers only orchards of more than ½ hectare.

Valderama orchard in Chile

As a result, officially, the area planted with traditional chestnut trees is 305 hectares with 353 producers. But this is not coherent with the marketed production which exceeds 2 800 tons (to which must be added a large quantity intended for self-consumption). About 50% of the marketed production is for export to Europe

Exports Years 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Quantity (tons) 1 875 2 836 1 423 1 179 1 731

The largest volume exported in 2014 and 2015 is due to the decline in European production during this period. The 2018 export includes about 400 tons of chestnuts from new plantations. European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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New productions Since 2010 began a planting plan of intensive orchards in high density (286 trees/hectare) with Italina varieties of Italian chestnuts. These are orchards of large individual surface (30 to 150 hectares), with good agronomic and commercial management. In 2019, 1 500 hectares of intensive orchards from 1 to 8 years old were identified. They produced 800 tonnes of chestnuts in April 2019 and are expected to produce 5 000 tons in a few years. The planted varieties are of European origin: Marrone Cuneo, Marrone di Castello Borello, Brown Morado, Brown Negro, Marrone di Citta di Castello, Marrone di Val di Susa, Marrone di Marradi, Marrone di Chiusa Pesio, Red Mouth, Precoce Migoule. Chile is the only country in South America that develops chestnuts.

THE UNITED STATES Source

: USDA

The USA chestnut production represents 1% of world production. In 2018, 919 farms produced chestnut for 3 700 acres (1 acre = 4046.85 m2) The main producing states are Michigan, Florida, California, Oregon and Virginia. Production is 3 200 tons. Wholesale prices are between $0.73 and $2.50 per kg , and at retail level, between $2.00 and $5.00, depending on the fresh or peeled markets. In the USA there is a fairly wide range of possible markets: farmers' markets, specialty stores, readyto-use products, vegetarians, ethical markets, restaurant suppliers, seasonal product processors, agri-tourism and field picking .

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3- TRADE Photo above: Gert Jan Kole flickr.com Sources for this chapter : JL Bellat and Eurostat

European trade IMPORTS IN THE EU European trade has changed somewhat in the last 15 years, since the arrival in Italy in 2002 of the Chinese parasite the gall wasp micro-hymenopteran Dryocosmus kuriphilus. This situation has upset Italian production and trade flows between European countries but also imports from non-EU countries. European countries imported 17.176 tons of chestnuts from non-EU countries in 2016 for an amount of 33.81 million euros, while only 7 300 tonnes were imported in 2001 for a value of 10.05 million euros. Italy imports a relatively large amount of chestnuts, around 11 300 tons, from Turkey for large fruits, but also from Albania, Balkan Europe and Chile. Imports from China have declined in the last two years. Other European countries imported in 2016 non-EU volumes, such as Hungary (1 224 tons imported), Slovenia (1 046 tons), the Netherlands (1 944 tons) and Great Britain (400 tons). These volumes were previously partly purchased in Europe. Within the EU, countries are exchanging volumes of around 70 000 tons for a total of 190 million euros. Italian imports are the largest and are mainly from Spain (12 662 tons), from Portugal (9 275 tons) and from Greece (3 118 tons). The 2nd largest importer is France which imports 13 500 tons from Spain (4 790 tons), from Portugal (3 800 tons) and from Italy (2 900 tons) but also from countries outside the EU (312 tons).

EXPORTS IN THE EU European exports to non-EU countries have been roughly the same in the last five years: 17 100 tons in 2016 for a value of 33.8 million euros. Italy has the largest volume with 11 269 tons for 24.3 million euros. Exports are to Canada, the United States, Brazil and the Arab Emirates, the Middle East, but also to Japan and Taiwan.

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Imports outside the UE, in quantity - 2016 Autriche ; 224 T; 1%

Allemagne ; 135 T; 1% Autres UE; 346 T ; 2%

Espagne ; 74 T; 0% France ; 127 T; 1%

Slovénie ; 1046 T; 6% Portugal ; 86 T; 1%

Grande Bretagne ; 400 T; 2% Grèce ; 301 T; 2%

Pays-Bas ; 1944 T; 11%

Hongrie ; 1224 T; 7%

Italie ; 11 269 T; 66%

TOTAL : 17 176 Tons

Imports outside the UE, in euros - 2016 Allemagne ; 462 K€

Autriche ; 788 K€

autres UE; 1459 K€ Slovénie ; 1672 K€

Espagne ; 104 K€ France ; 166 K€ Grande Bretagne ; 926 K€ Grèce ; 478 K€

Portugal ; 221 K€

Hongrie ; 1293 K€

Pays-Bas ; 2935 K€

Italie ; 24 231 K€

TOTAL : 34.73 millions €

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Exports outside the UE, in euros - 2016

Portugal ; 5392 K€ ; 16%

Autres UE; 636 K€; 2%

Espagne ; 1864 K€ ; 5% France ; 3749 K€; 11% Grèce ; 289 K€; 1%

Italie ; 22659 K€; 65% TOTAL : 34.59 million €

Exports outside the UE, in quantity - 2016 France ; 753 T; 10%

Espagne ; 463 T; 6%

Grèce ; 284 T; 4% autres UE; 281 T; 4% Portugal ; 1385 T; 19%

Italie ; 4274 T; 57% TOTAL : 7 440 Tons

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Trade between European countries ITALY Italy- Imported quantity 2007 - 2017 in tons 45 000 40 000 35 000 30 000 25 000 20 000 15 000 10 000 5 000 0

39 954 32 434

38 325 32 053 21 792

18 342 7 332

6 047

6 080

6 810

9 030

Italy - Exported quantity towards EU countries 8 944 Tons - 2016 Royaume-uni; 959 T

Slovaquie; 61 T Allemagne; 2 971 T

Roumanie; 34 T Hongrie; 128 T

France; 2 172 T Espagne; 3 T

Autriche; 1 769 T Belgique; 111 T

Graphique JL BELLAT

Italy - Exported quantity outside the UE : 4 274 Tons - 2016

Italy - Imported quantity from EU countries autres U.E 28; 26 T Slovenie; 595 T Portugal; 9275 T

Allemagne; 51 T Bulgarie; 731

Chypre; 96 T Espagne; 12 662 T

Hongrie; 16 T Grèce; 3118 T France; 486 T

Graphique JL BELLAT

Italy - imported quantity from non-EU countries: 11 269 Tons - 2016

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PORTUGAL Portugal exports a large part of its production. • 50 to 60% is exported, i.e. 25 000 tonnes •

Big size fruits are exported to Brazil (2 000 t), Italy, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Traditionally Portugal (and Spain) supplies the medium/small fruits to the processing industries of France and Italy.

Primary processing industries have been instaled since the 1990’s. The small and medium size fruit are carried to the first transformation phase: peeled and frozen fruits. They are then exported to other European countries.

Fruits of very small qualiber and quality are exported to manufacturers of cream and mashed chestnut (in France, and Italy). Portugal – Exported quantity to EU countries : 19 374 Tons - 2016

autres UE 28; 6

Allemagne; 409 Espagne; 3209

Royaume-uni; 124

France; 4 052

Italie; 11512

Graphique JL BELLAT

Portugal - Volumes Imported from countries : 1.449 Tonnes - 2016 Portugal - Exportations hors UEEU : 1 385 Tons (2016)

Portugal – Imported quantity from EU countries Pays Bas; 90 T

autres U.E 28; 1 T

Italie; 5 T

Grèce; 180 T France; 2 T

Graphique JL BELLAT

Espagne; 1171 T Portugal – Imported quantity non-EU countries in 2016 Portugal - volumes Importations Paysfrom hors UE : 86 Tonnes - données 2016: 86 tons

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SPAIN •

The spanish production is spread from late September to mid-November and offers large and cheaper quantities.

Fresh medium-sized chestnuts are exported to French and Italian processing companies. These volumes have risen sharply in the past five years, especially to Italy, who is in strong demand for chestnuts.

Primary processing units have been developing since the 1980’s. A large part of processed chestnuts (frozen and peeled) from Spain are exported to France, Switzerland and Belgium, intended to an industrial market and for major retailers. specialised in the frozen food market. Spain - Exported quantity to EU countries 19 567 Tons - 2016 autres UE 28; 130 T Royaume-uni; 73 T Portugal; 2426 T Pays-bas; 56 T

Italie; 13 035 T

Allemagne; 197 T Belgique; 20 T Danemark; 7 T France; 3 456 T Hongrie; 167 T

Graphique JL BELLAT

Spain - Exported quantity to non- EU countries : 76 Tons - 2016

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FRANCE France exports about 42,5% of its production mainly in fresh chestnuts. In total, 3 392 tons were exported in 2016. This quantity has roughly been constant in recent years, depending on production. The majority of exports are to Europe (77,5%) mainly to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, but also to countries outside the EU (22,5%) such as Switzerland (706 tons) and Japan (29 tons). In total, 3 336 tons are exported to European countries.

France - Exported quantity towards EU countries 2 630 Tons - 2016 Royaume-uni; 153 T Pays-bas; 59 T

Suede; 12 T autres UE 28; 41 T

Luxembourg; 44 T Italie; 459 T

Allemagne; 1 383 T

Grèce; 23 T Spain - Imported volumes from EU countries 3 236 Tons - 2016 Espagne; 203 T

France; 30 T

autres Belgique; 249 T U.E 25; 26 T

Italie; 154 T

Slovenie; 21 T France - Quantity Exportation hors UE : 763 Tons - donnéesGrèce; 2016132 T

Portugal; 2 872 T Graphique JL BELLAT

Spain - Imported volumes to non-EU countries : 74 tons in 2016

France - Imported quantity from EU countries 8 756 Tonnes - données 2016

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Allemagne; 173 T autres U.E 28; 28 T

Chypre; 104 T

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GREECE Greece has specialised in the production of large fruit and has been one of the main suppliers of Italy since 5 years ago. It also exchanges products with neighbouring countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus.

Greece - Exported quantity towards EU countries 3 258 Tons - 2016 Roumanie; 38 T

autres UE 28; 12 T Allemagne; 136 T

Portugal; 78 T Espagne; 132 T

Bulgarie; 116 T Chypre; 72 T

Italie; 2674 T Greece - Exported quantity to non-EU countries: 284 Tons - 2016

Greece – Imports quantity from EU countries 261 Tons - 2016

autres U.E 25; 72 T; 28% Italie; 1 T; 1%

Allemagne; 1 T; 1% Bulgarie; 113 T; 43%

France; 45 T; 17%

Chypre; 29 T; 11%

Graph by JL BELLAT

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4- CONSUMPTION and PROCESSING IN EUROPE Consumption Just like production, chestnut consumption decreases.

The main characteristics of European consumption : •

The chestnut is a traditional fruit that was used as a staple food of rural people

Chestnut consumption is occasional : in autumn as fresh fruit (during the harvest period) and as processed fruit, marrons glacés, canned chestnuts (used for Christmas meals).

Consumption of roasted chestnuts in the streets during winter months.

The fruit has a contradictory duality: it is both a simple product of the poorer rural populations and a luxury festive product (marrons glacés).

It has to be noted that the fresh product is difficult to prepare. The 2 skins have to be removed to cook it.

The following points summarise the context: •

Lack of time of the modern consumer who abandons these fruits because they are too complicated to peel.

Permanent search for health arguments : they are insufficiently highlighted on chestnut products.

The chestnust is a fruit (the burs and leaves) that still "decorates" the stalls of autumn, and is then forgotten. It is only consumed in autumn and during the Christmas holidays.

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It is therefore necessary to develop a communication towards consumers and distributors to promote an allyear-round use. Still, it has to be noted that the image of the product largely remains positive. This communication should be especially aimed at young people who are largely under-consumers of fruit and vegetables and chestnuts in particular.

In Italy, France, Spain and Portugal Italian consumption is mainly oriented towards fresh fruit for 45 to 50%. For the « marron » (term only used by the French), the share of outlets for agro-processing is higher than the European average, 40% is consumed as frozen confectionery products and peeled products and 10% as dehydrated products and flour. In France, depending on the year, the national production is mainly consumed by the fresh market and marketed by organised groups of producers but also by commercial operators. Only « marrons » of small caliber and partitioned fruits are exploited by the processing industry, mainly as purée in Ardèche and as flour in Corsica. The chestnuts imported on the French territory are used for 90% by food industry, processed for confectionery and for canning. They are consumed for Christmas. In Spain and in Portugal, despite clearly identified production areas, marketing is highly dispersed and mainly carried out by private commercial operators. There are very few producer organisations with significant market weight. The consumption is mainly in fresh and in autumn and sometimes as dried chestnuts.

Processing The chestnut is a fresh fruit that is eaten almost always cooked, grilled or boiled after being peeled. It is quite natural that this fruit quickly showed a particular interest for new transformations allowing an interesting alternative of added-value and thus increasing the diversity of the product offer to the consumers. Primary transformations such as drying have improved the conservation of the fruit. The first known transformation are marrons glacés. It is by far the oldest method used to turn sweet chestnuts to candy by slow cooking in a sugar syrup that diffuses into the fruit. France and Italy are the undenyable leaders of this processing and have acquired precise know-how for the preparation of this product. More recently, in the 1970s, the industry developed thanks to chestnut peeling equipment and they could this meet demands for new consumption ways. Gradually, the European chestnut producing countries have equipped themselves with industrial processing units for the peeling, but also for the production of cream and mashed chestnuts. France, at the origin of the creation of these industrial tools, has prefered the development of twenty industrial processing units in the main production areas, namely Ardèche, Périgord Limousin and Occitania, with an annual production of 13 900 tons, generating a turnover of 119 million euros. In Italy, in the region of Avellino in Campania, in Piedmont, Lazio and Tuscany, factories have been created around the chestnut production by making frozen peeled chestnuts as well as frozen and marrons glacés. European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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Italy is the European country where the consumption of processed products is the most important and its processing industry is very diversified. Italian production includes small craft companies and medium ones in the chestnut growing regions which produce 40 000 to 45 000 tons and generate a turnover of 250 million euros. In the north-west of Spain, in the Galicia region (which produces more than 70% of the Spanish production) but also in Leon, two marron glacés and cream factories and three frozen peeled chestnut factories, developed in the 80’s with other small craft companies. They transform 7 000 to 8 000 tons, generating about 45 million euros in turnover. Some of these processed products are exported to other European countries and Japan. In Portugal, since the 1990’s, four frozen peeled chestnut processing factories were established in the northern region (Trás-os-Montes) where is most of the country’s production (more than 80%). This industrial production represents about 15 000 to 18 000 tons for a turnover of 80 million euros, which are 80% exported to other European countries and to Brazil. More than half of the European production of chestnuts is currently for industrial and artisanal processing with about 68 500 tons of processed chestnut products. In recent years, industrial production has become much more important because it brings new consumption possibilities, in a world of urban consumption in search for natural and healthy products, that also are easy to consume. In recent years, the emergence of gluten* intolerance, has seen the development by manufacturers of a whole new special range of “glutenfree” products based on chestnut such as pasta, biscuits and breads. The chestnut is a very eclectic fruit because it has multiple consumption possibilities. Its processing, which has various forms, facilitates the use of this natural and wild fruit in many culinary preparations. The transformation of the chestnut is a practical answer to the new dietary needs and to the nutritional balance demanded by the consumers in search of a healthier lifestyle. *the protein found in some cereals such as in wheat particularly

EUROPE

Quantities per year

Marrons glacés and candied products, (including artisanal

production)

Creams et purée de marrons

(including artisanal production)

Peeled and frozen chestnuts of which artisanal production Peeled chestnuts : canned and air-tight conservation

(including production)

artisanal

4230 t 200 t 8600 t 150 t 32800 t 400 t 9070 t 300 t

Distribution markets

Turnover in million euros

Wholesaule, retail, hypermarkets and supermarkets, artisanal distribution Wholesaule, retail, hypermarkets and supermarkets, artisanal distribution , organic markets Wholesaule, retail, hypermarkets and supermarkets, artisanal distribution , organic markets Wholesaule, retail, hypermarkets and supermarkets, artisanal distribution , organic markets

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88,5

43

135,5

105,5

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Flour, dried chestnuts, dry products

(including artisanal production)

4500 t 150 t

Wholesaule, retail, artisanal distribution , organic markets

45,5

Source : J L Bellat

5- MICRO-ECONOMIC ELEMENTS The case of France Source UICSO

Yields: 0.5 to 1.5 tons/ha in old orchards and 1 to 3 tons/ha in recent orchards

Production costs: vary from 0.50 €/kg to 1.50/kg excluding harvesting cost

The harvesting costs vary from 0.50 €/kg (mechanical harvest with subsidy equipment) to more than 1 €/kg (manual harvesting). Harvesting is most often done by the farmer. This labour is generally paid below the cost of hired labour.

The cost of plantation an irrigated system orchard: 10 000 €/Ha

The cost of requalifying of an abandoned chestnut orchard: it is very variable depending on the condition of the orchard, accessibility and work to be done (pruning in particular): it is estimated between 1 500 €/ha to more than 7 000 €/ha.

Production price Fresh market: 2.60 to 3.30 €/kg Processing market: 1.80 to 2.60 €/kg for industrial peeling 1.20 to 1.60 €/kg for cream and mashed chestnuts 4.00 to 5.00 €/kg for marrons glacés

Consumer prices Fresh market: 4.50 to 6.90 €/kg Processing market: average yield 2 kg of fresh fruit = 1 kg of peeled fruit Organic processed chestnuts: yield 4 kg of fresh fruit = 1 kg of flour produced European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

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20 to 30 €/kg for an artisanal product and 18 to 22 €/kg for an industrial product

Average public prices on retail markets

Artisanal production

Industry products

Canned chestnuts 12 à 18 €/kg (peeled, cooked)

8.5 à 15 €/kg

Flour

10 à 15 €/kg

8 à 12 €/kg

Cream

10 à 18 €/kg

De 3 à 6 €/kg

Purée

10 à 15 €/kg

2.5 à 5 €/kg

Fresh chestnuts Pas de produits 12 à 16 €/kg ready to eat Today, the consumer selling prices allow an interesting remuneration for the producer.

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6- EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES The chestnut sector has many assets which needs to be developped. But, there also are several constraints.

The assets The market •

An unsatisfied market in volume, which has to rely on non-EU imports to be supplied (Turkey, China, Korea)

Consumer prices that can pay the various stakeholders in the sector (producers, marketers, processors).

A steady increase in sales of processed products.

Products •

A dynamic processing industry (primary processing and fresh products): Italy, France, Spain, Portugal

A wide range of products for savory or sweet recipes: o

the fresh chestnut: a pleasure of autumn and winter, to be eaten grilled or cooked in water (mashed chestnuts, whole chestnut in accompaniment of dishes, etc.).

o

dry products: flour, whole dry chestnuts, broken (to be used as rice), pasta, etc.

o

sweet products: marrons glacés, creams, jams, pastries, etc.

o

drinks: syrups, licors, beers, etc.

soups, terrines and other delicatessen •

Various packaging possibilities: fresh, canned, frozen, airtight consevation, etc.

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A real health asset: the chestnut is a healthy fruit, without gluten, interesting for people suffering from Celiac disease (gluten intolerance). It is estimated that 1% of people can develop this disease in Europe. The prevalence seems identical in the North American continent. In France, only 10 to 20% of the cases are diagnosed. (Source: French Association of Gluten Intolerants - www.afdiag.fr)

Dietary characteristics: o

Vitality: the energy value of the chestnut is comparable to that of cereals (180 Kcal per 100g). Moreover, its sugars have the advantage of gradually releasing their energy in the blood; it is therefore ideal for athletes and for resistance to effort,

o

Diet balance: chestnut proteins accompanied by a dairy product, has a perfect dietary balance.

o

Minerals: chestnut is generous in potassium and magnesium that help fight against stress and fatigue and it is well provided with calcium, iron and trace elements.

o

Vitamins: the vitamin C intake of 100 g of fresh uncooked chestnuts is equivalent to 100 g of lemon

o

Chestnuts contain about 1-2% of dry matter of fat, mostly unsaturated fatty acids that are favorable to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Landscape and men There is a strong link between the human been from chestnut producing areas and the fruit, which it is shown by the expression "chestnut civilisation". The chestnut tree has fed humans and animals for generations. Its wood was used for heating, charcoal, furniture, barrels, parquet, carpentry, cladding of houses, etc. It has shaped the landscapes of entire regions. Today, many women and men are passionate about this tree and its fruit: • The chestnut growers themselves, •

but also many people who perpetuate the knowledge of the chestnut tree through associations, festivals and events, museums, educational actions for children, cookbooks, « chestnut menus » in restaurants, culinary specialties, etc. They all are ambassadors of the chestnut.

The chestnut orchard has an essential contribution to the tourist appeal of the producing regions through the maintenance of remarkable landscapes and the agricultural and architectural heritage associated to it.

The chestnut orchard and the environnement. •

Orchard maintenance plays a very important role in the fight against fires.

The chestnut orchard is still predominantly instaled in old orchards. They are composed of large trees with well-cared undergrowth. They are comparable only with very few other natural, forest or agricultural habitats. The forest grown for timber have often younger and smaller trees. The old

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chestnut trees are riddled with large cavities and crevices in their bark. They are home to an exceptional biodiversity, including: o

Birds, especially cavicultural species (woodpeckers, owls, etc.).

o

Cave mammals: bats (chiroptera). At European level, the Habitats-Fauna-Flora Directive (EEC N ° 92/43) states that all species should be given strict protection.

o

Saproxylic insects: this name is used for species that depend for part of their life cycle, on dead or dying wood, on tree fungi or on other dead wood feeding organisms. The saproxylic species belong to one of the most endangered invertebrate communities at European scale.

Renewable energy production: Although it is a secondary service of the chestnut grove, timber represent a significant source of energy.

Contribution to carbon storage: "agricultural carbon sink" Agriculture, among other features, is not only a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions like other sectors of the economy, it can also provide carbon sinks, that is, a mean of storing (or "trapping" or "sequestering") the Pruning - Photo ©Cica/Rissoan main anthropogenic GHG, carbon dioxide or CO2, in the biomass (organic matter) of the soil and plants. These are mostly grasslands, especially "permanent meadows" (natural meadows, moors, lawns ...), which are quoted as an agricultural example of carbon sinks, because they generally have a biological activity of the soil ("life soil), and a higher organic matter content than most other types of agricultural occupations. What is interesting is that the traditional chestnut orchard represents a type of agricultural storage that is even more efficient (as regards surface and hectares) than grasslands, because of the determining role of chestnut trees in carbon sequestration (carbon stock and flux) in ligneous biomass.

Production Chestnut production needs little inputs, it thus easlily leads to the development of organic farming certifications. •

Chestnut growing enters in the High Natural Value Agriculture (HNV) framework The European Environment Agency (EEA) defines HNV areas as "areas of Europe where agriculture is a major (usually dominant) form of space use and where agriculture is the origin or is associated with a great diversity of species and habitats and/or the presence of species of European interest "(Andersen, 2003). Most of the European sweet chestnut orchards falls within this framework.

Chestnut production is supported by successful research and experimental organisations:

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o

A structured French network: INRA, CTFL, INVENIO, SEFRA, ARMELR and AREFLEC are working together on a diversified programme: -

Plant material: varietal selection, disease-tolerant rootstocks, drought resistance: new hybrid varieties created in France that are tolerant of the main diseases and pests and adapted to certain production conditions.

-

Cultural management: modern orchard, improvement of labour in traditional orchards

-

fruit health status: orchard control against codling moth, balanin and rots.

o

In Portugal, UTAD, INIAV and IPB are working on management, breeding and sanitary issues.

o

Universities in Italy especially those of Torino, Firenze, Padova, Viterbo, Italian National Research

o

A European consultation in the fight against the gall wasp, initiated by the chestnut tree growers and based on the experience of the University of Turin and the National Institute of Agronomic Research (INRA) of Sophia Antipolis.

Photo ©Cica/Michel Rissoan

Harvesting techniques in traditional orchards that partially offset the decline in the family work force: mechanisation with vacuum cleaners, nets, etc.

The installation costs of new farmers, on existing orchards, are relatively low compared to other agricultural productions.

The traditional chestnut orchard often combines two products: the chestnut, plus a form of extensive permanent crop: the grass under the trees that is used for the grazing of extensive animal breeding.

Chestnut tree growing is also an opportunity for diversification of farmers through tourism: orchard visits, processing and sale of products on the farm, accommodation, catering, etc.

The constraints The market: •

Gradual reduction of fresh fruit consumption.

A product that benefits from very little promotional effort.

A product that is seldom identified and labelled with the origin of its production.

Chinese competition that has been going on since 2005 with low prices on both the fresh and the processed products.

Intra-EU competition due to different production costs between European Union countries.

No or little standardisation for the fresh fruit trade.

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The production : •

A pest that affects almost all traditional and hybrid varieties: the chestnut gall wasp (which causes a sharp drop in production). Its presence in Europe might accelerate the abandonment of the orchards. It also disrupts the tree nursery sector.

A majority of traditional (old) orchards in all countries. They are being phased out despite the renewal of production efforts in many regions.

The chestnut orchards are mainly located in zones with a strong natural handicap, between 300 and 1200 m above sea level, in dry zones, with strong agricultural abandonment.

A network of older producers that diminishes at the same time as the agricultural family economy.

A part of the traditional orchards is productive but another one is unexploited and abandoned, notably due to the lack of will from the owners.

Traditional varieties are sensitive to diseases and pests: phytophthora, bark canker, gall wasp, etc.

A lack of suitable rootstocks for production in dry zones.

Producer prices that sometimes are insufficient, especially for chestnuts intended for industrial processing.

Traditional orchards facing, in many areas, an increase in the damage by wildlife, especially wild boars.

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7- CONCLUSION The chestnut ecosystem has many assets (it is naturally good and suitable for a healthy and balanced diet, with a wide range of uses for cooking and snacking), This ecosystem contributes very positively to the fight against global warming. It is essential to human and economic activity of many rural areas. However, to regain its potential and its place at a worldwide level, the sector must manage to control the diseases and pests that handicap the harvests and must program dynamic plantation schemes. In addition, it is important that the chesnut sector be part of a strong and ongoing communication policy with consumers and distributors to take a lasting roots in new consumption patterns.

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www.eurocastanea.org / www.areflh.org

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8- EUROCASTANEA NETWORK PRESENTATION The European chestnut network is composed of: • AREFLH (Assembly of European Horticultural Regions) which provides the secretariat of the network, And the national organisations from the main producing countries in Europe: •

The Red Estatal del Castaño (Spain)

The National Union of Chestnut Producers of France, SNPC

Refcast - Associação Portuguesa da Castanha (Portugal)

Centro di Studio e Documentazione sul Castagno, CSDC (Italy)

ARGE Zukunft Edelkastanie (Austria)

The network has the following missions: •

To represent, defend and promote the common interests of producers, manufacturers and commercial operators of the chestnut sector in the European and world economy.

To organise dialogue, consultations, studies and joint action among its members.

To strengthen the representation of the chestnut sector to the European institutions, regional and national public authorities.

To promote the renovation of the European chestnut orchards.

To organise the every year the European Chestnut Congress

To organise technical missions, to stimulate communication programs, to promote cooperation in scientific, technical or economic issues.

European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

www.eurocastanea.org / www.areflh.org

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EUROPEAN CHESTNUT WHITE PAPER This document is published by EUROCASTANEA network and AREFLH, the Assembly of European Horticultural Regions eurocastanea@areflh.org +33 (0) 5 33 89 10 19 www.eurocastanea.org www.areflh.org

European Chestnut White Paper, by EUROCASTANEA / AREFLH

www.eurocastanea.org / www.areflh.org

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European Chestnut White Paper  

White paper on relaunching the European chestnut production to meet the demand from the fresh and processing markets, creating added value a...

European Chestnut White Paper  

White paper on relaunching the European chestnut production to meet the demand from the fresh and processing markets, creating added value a...

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