E-Marketplace in the spotlight at the 20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR 2024)

The 20th Symposium on Systems Analysis in Forest Resources (SSAFR 2024) took place in the Basque Country, Spain, between May 13 and 17.

SSAFR is an international meeting that has been held every two years since 1975 and has made a fundamental contribution to research into forest management and planning over the last century.

At this year’s event, the E-Marketplace for Forest Products project, part of the transForm Agenda, was presented by Valentina Masso, from the Center for Forestry Studies (CEF) and TERRA Laboratory (TERRA), at the University of Lisbon’s Higher Institute of Agronomy.

In Portugal, the forestry supply chain plays a central role, both economically and ecologically. The E-marketplace project focuses on creating a platform for marketing forest products, emphasizing the importance of non-timber forest products (NTFP).

A survey was carried out to gain a better understanding of market trends and a diverse range of non-timber products, such as arbutus, pine cones and pine nuts, chestnuts, honey, mushrooms and aromatic herbs, among others.

The survey made it possible to better characterize producers, companies and other players in the value chain and their marketing needs.

The results show that there is a need to create an E-marketplace that includes a mix of B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) segments, due to the diversity of markets in the forestry sector.

Valentina Masso believes in the potential of non-timber forest products (NTFP) in Portugal “beyond the best known, which is cork”, not only because they enable biodiversity in the ecosystem, but also because they can be a secondary source of income for forest owners

“Given the country’s heterogeneous landscape, from north to south, the diversity of NTFPs is enormous. Therefore, e-commerce is undoubtedly a great possibility and solution for producers, companies and other industries in the NTFP and LFP value chain to sell or buy without using intermediaries, and to make use of the proximity economy through technology, which is vital if we want to reduce the carbon footprint and create a resilient economy,” said Valentina Masso.

The next step in this project, which is part of the transForm Agenda, is to test the first prototype of the Emarketplace platform with various forestry stakeholders, namely consumers and suppliers.

The Forest Products E-Marketplace is coordinated by CoLAB ForestWISE, in partnership with Agri Marketplace, the National Association of Forestry, Agricultural and Environmental Companies (ANEFA), the Mediterranean Forest Union (UNAC) and the Instituto Superior de Agronomia (ISA).