There exist large surfaces for providing Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (MAPs) raw material to the industry but in the Mediterranean area there are plenty of small-scale farms . Many entrepreneurs have seen herbs as an alternative crop in these areas, however the small productions are not enough to bulk-selling to wholesalers, and decide to elaborate herbal products to sell directly to consumer. Then have to deal with different aspects (processing, safety aspects, norms and procedures, marketing, etc.) that go far beyond those simply cultivating herbs and, as they cannot invest in expensive industrial equipments, focus in handicraft production. But no specialised training is addressed for this craftsmanship.
The specificities of the herbal craft production profession, focusing in food herbal craft’s products, are analysed in this report. Data has been collected in each country about technical and legal norms on elaboration and selling, working environment, worker skills, etc.
A database was elaborated for the stakeholders in each country only for the regions involved in the project: Piedmont and Liguria in Italy; Catalonia in Spain, Alentejo in Portugal and Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur in France. These stakeholders, mainly producers, craftsmen and cooperatives, were contacted to know the needs in relation to the herbs processing and elaboration of products and their willing to attend courses.
The data collected permitted to provide evidence on 5 general areas:
- Practical aspects of production and commercialization.
- Agriculture management and cultivation techniques.
- Use of active ingredients in cosmetic, medicine and nutrition,
- The transformation and extraction techniques.
- Management and marketing.