Pine nuts are an important cash crop for communities in mountainous areas of Pakistan. Due to growing demand worldwide, pine nuts are increasingly collected unsustainably from the forest. This happens when all cones from a single tree are collected instead of leaving a sufficient number of cones on the trees for natural regeneration. Under the umbrella of CBI and Mountains and Markets project (GEF/UNDP), ProFound is designing a pilot project in Northern Pakistan, focused on sustainable sourcing of high quality pine nuts.
This is achieved by implementing multiple quality guidelines and standards simultaneously such as GACP, organic, Fair For Life and FairWild. Jesse Bloemendaal, senior consultant at ProFound: “The communities can then source high quality pine nuts from the forests without risking exhaustion of the natural resource. At the same time, conservation efforts are strengthened by linking the community enterprises to ethical buyers to ensure income for the communities. We highlight this story on our new website.”
During their visit to Pakistan in July, Bert-Jan Ottens of ProFound and Michael Schwegler (our IN2NI colleague) prepared the grounds for an innovative pilot scheme. The pilot aims to sustainably source and certify wild-collected Chilgoza pine nuts from the Northern valleys of Pakistan. They took stock of current collection and processing practices of Community Biodiversity Enterprises (CBEs) in the valleys, are responsible for collecting Chilgoza pine nuts from their communal forests. Preliminary findings reveal that the CBEs as well as processing and exporting companies can significant improvements to sustainably source from their forests are achieved.
This October, ProFound trained CBI-engaged processing and exporting companies to adopt sustainable sourcing and certification practices, as part of our Business Planning solution. In the same process ProFound trained certification inspectors to use our certification tool in their inspection and certification processes. This tool creates a single documentation set to facilitate the process of certification of organic, Fair for Life and FairWild in a user and cost friendly manner.