Welcome to the Fall 2021 edition of the Temperate Agroforester!
The Fall 2021 Temperate Agroforestry focuses on marketing agroforestry products. Special thanks for the introduction and guidance on this issue provided by guest co-editor Mike Gold.
Marketing Agroforestry products!
For agroforestry practices to “lift off” and become widely accepted and adopted, having proven markets for the products grown in these practices is one of the key ingredients in the recipe for success. Additionally, a second key ingredient is the ability to obtain a “price premium” for growing products within agroforestry practices and this requires translating the value of utilizing these regenerative practices into the marketplace. When either of these two ingredients are beyond the capability of individual producers, then external assistance from cooperatives or other business models can help to provide the key linkages between agroforestry producers and their markets.
As Kate MacFarland states in the opening paragraph of her article Marketing Agroforestry Products - Lessons from Producers:
”The agroforestry community has often focused on the establishment, production, and conservation benefits and challenges of agroforestry, but put less emphasis on the rest of the supply chain. A key component of increasing agroforestry adoption is increasing opportunities to connect with markets for tree, shrub, non-timber, and other products grown in agroforestry systems. While some of these crops have well-established markets, identifying, developing, or entering the market may be a challenge for other crops.“
The articles found in this issue of the AFTA Newsletter all focus on the markets and countless marketable crops that are available to agroforestry producers. Having known markets, well-established value-chains that link producers to the market, and support for producers to grow and market their crops, are all essential elements in moving agroforestry forward.
The Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub article written by Katie Commender provides clear evidence of the benefit of an organization that helps producers to grow forest farmed crops to high quality standards, helps them efficiently process their harvested crops, and provides access to markets that result in a price premium to the growers as a result. Everyone wins across the value chain!
The Marketing Agroforestry Products - Lessons from Producers article written by Kate MacFarland summarizes lessons learned from seven case studies of widely diverse producers: Shepherd Farms (pecans), Delaware Valley (ramps), Appalachian Sustainable Development (non-timber forest products), Passamaquoddy Maple, Integration Acres (pawpaw) , River Hills Harvest (elderberry), and Hawai’i ‘Ulu Cooperative (breadfruit). Each case study shares information about assistance and resources accessed along the way.
The article focused on Black Locust showcases how this species is grown and marketed for high-quality hardwood decking in the USA and finger-jointed lumber and sapwood-free posts coming from Hungary (in Europe).
The Chestnut Impact Investment article highlights needs for future growth in the U.S. chestnut industry.
Finally, the article focused on Pawpaw – Producers, Consumers and Future Markets by Cai et al. summarizes results from recent survey research on pawpaw producers and consumers. Their results indicate that pawpaw producers predict pawpaw supply to increase over the next five years and that consumer demand for fresh pawpaws is expected to increase in the future.
Collectively, the articles in this issue showcase many pathways forward for agroforestry producers and point toward a bright future for the growth of agroforestry practices and successful markets and market strategies for the products that are produced.
Call for Articles: Winter 2022
We are pleased to announce the call for articles for Agroforester Newsletter for Winter 2022. The theme for the Winter 2022 newsletter will feature agroforestry in the southwestern US. We want to hear about any type of agroforestry related production in the southwestern US. If you have an interest in submitting an article relevant to the featured theme or any questions, please submit your article topic or any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30. Final articles will be due January 24. As always, we welcome ideas for future themes and suggestions for articles, and we welcome any input or feedback about the newsletter at email@example.com. Let’s share what each of us are doing and educate/encourage others out there to take advantage of agroforestry!
Are you interested in becoming a member of AFTA or need to renew? If so, get started by clicking here. Your membership gives you access to the members-only area, discounts on conference registration, and helps support AFTA's mission to promote agroforestry. If you have any questions about memebership please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Harry Greene, Propagate Ventures; Brett Chedzoy, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Black locust is a wood of high intrinsic value. Gabor Erdélyi of Robinia Group calls it a triple threat: Economic, Ecological, and Functional. Zach Rike of Robi Decking draws a parallel to Tesla. Today we’ll dive into two businesses whose core product is black locust. How did they get started? How do they market their products? What are consumers looking for?
Zhen Cai, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry (UMCA), Assistant Research Professor; Michael Gold, UMCA Associate Director; Kelsi Stubblefield, UMCA Graduate Student
Pawpaw (Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal) is the largest edible tree fruit native to the United States. Though consumption of pawpaws is not widespread in the modern-day US, pawpaws have been consumed by Native Americans for millennia. Pawpaw fruits have a very sweet tropical flavor and tastes as a mixture of banana, mango, and pineapple (Brannan et al. 2012). The fruit is nutritious and it supplies protein, numerous minerals, and vitamin C (Kobayashi et al. 2008). Pawpaws can be consumed raw or be processed into pulp and used to make food products such as beer, ice cream, yogurt, beverages, and baked goods.
Katie Commender, Agroforestry Program Director, Appalachian Sustainable Development, email@example.com
In 2017, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) expanded one of the oldest food hubs in the country – Appalachian Harvest – to include an Herb Hub in its Duffield, Virginia facility. The Appalachian Harvest Herb Hub envisions a thriving and sustainable herbal economy in Central Appalachia, where plant conservation is achieved through profitable cultivation in agroforestry systems. The Herb Hub works with a network of medicinal herb farmers across Central Appalachia. The Herb Hub provies many services including providing seed, sale training, and on-farm technical assistance, and even cost-share funding for start-up, shared-use commercial herb processing equipment, and aggregation and marketing services.
Kate MacFarland, National Agroforestry Center, USDA Forest Service
The agroforestry community has often focused on the establishment, production, and conservation benefits and challenges of agroforestry, but put less emphasis on the rest of the supply chain. A key component of increasing agroforestry adoption is increasing opportunities to connect with markets for tree, shrub, non-timber, and other products grown in agroforestry systems. While some of these crops have well-established markets, identifying, developing, or entering the market may be a challenge for other crops.
Jacob Grace, Savanna Institute, firstname.lastname@example.org
The chestnut industry is positioned to become an important growth sector in the Eastern U.S. agricultural economy as well as a significant solution to reducing US CO2 emissions, according to a recent report released by the Savanna Institute. The full report, “Overcoming Bottlenecks in the Eastern U.S. Chestnut Industry: An Impact Investment Plan”, is available at https://www.savannainstitute.org/chestnut-impact-investment-report/