Associations "Russian Forest" and "Dikorosy" propose to simplify the procedure for harvesting wild plants

The National Association of Timber Manufacturers "Russian Forest" and the Association of Participants in the Development of the Industry of Food Non-Timber and Medicinal Forest Resources "Dikorosy" sent a letter to Dmitry Kobylkin, Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ecology, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, with proposals for whitewashing the industry of harvesting and processing wild plants and support for small businesses.

The harvesting and processing of berries, mushrooms, nuts and medicinal plants is one of the main alternative activities in rural areas. The use of forests for harvesting wild plants can be carried out in already leased areas with the consent of the tenants, whose interest can be increased by making the collection of wild plants one of the ESG criteria (the concept of environmental, social and corporate responsibility).

Currently, only a few processing companies rent plots for their own collection of plants. This is due, among other things, to the long term of the lease (at least ten years), the overregulation of the registration procedure, and also to the fact that the tenant of the forest plot assumes a number of obligations for its maintenance. It is proposed to simplify the procedure for harvesting wild plants, namely: to provide for the issuance of permits to the self-employed, individual entrepreneurs and businesses to collect a certain amount of forest resources (or conclude sales contracts), which will contribute to whitewashing the industry.

In addition, it is proposed to support the implementation of a specialized digital platform developed with the expert support of the "Wild Rosy" and "Russian Forest" associations. The platform (mobile application and web version) provides for the digitalization of the process of collecting and harvesting wild plants, contains information about the places where wild plants grow, routes and reception points, and also allows you to document the transaction between the picker and the harvester. Thus, the platform will help the harvester to find a place to collect wild plants and hand over their surplus to the reception point, and the harvester to post information about the requirements for raw materials, collection points, price and volume.

Andrey Goncharov, First Vice-President of the Russian Forest Association, commented: “The proposed initiatives are the result of the joint work of the Russian Forest Association and the Dikorosy Association within the framework of an earlier cooperation agreement. For several years we have been cooperating in the direction of the multi-purpose and rational use of forests.

According to the strategy for the development of the forest complex, the biological reserves of only the most common wild plants reach 13 million tons, and the operational reserves - more than 7 million tons. According to expert data, at the end of 2021, the volume of harvesting wild plants increased by 48% and amounted to almost 19 thousand tons.