Two years ago five cooperatives were established in Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region with the support of international organizations. Today, healing herbs collected by these cooperatives are exported to Germany, the major country of EU.
Why has German consumer interested in Georgian plants and what are perspectives of non-timber forest products on EU markets? Marika Zarandia, the project coordinator, talks about the mentioned issues for the EUGeorgia.info
-Ms. Marika, how would you describe the project?
-The project maned as Collection and Processing of Non-timber Forest Products – Opportunity for Female Groups for Penetrating Markets, was launched in 2015 with the support of Village Development Agency and Bridge – Innovation and Development, OXFAM Georgia. The project is funded by BLF British fund.
Five cooperatives were established as part of the project: 3 ones in Mtskheta municipality and 2 ones in Dusheti municipality. The cooperatives unite 77 persons, including 50 women. All five cooperatives have obtained bio certificates, while one of them has obtained organic certificate in addition. The latter certificate is required for the US and other markets.
-Which products were exported this year?
-This year we have exported Primrose produced by the cooperative to Germany. Milfoil and Hypericum will be exported to Germany at the end of October. By the end of 2017, about 2 tons of dried crab apple and sweetbrier be exported to Germany. Collection of primrose starts in April, Milfoil and Hypericum in July. Now we have started collectingsweetbrier and this process will be continued up to the end of December.