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Demand for non-timber forest products: Surveys of urban consumers and sellers in Switzerland


  • Kilchling, Petra
  • Hansmann, Ralf
  • Seeland, Klaus


In recent years, worldwide socioeconomic, ecological, and cultural changes have led to a paradigm shift in forestry and forest management. Some years ago, most forest enterprises exclusively focused on wood production, whereas today, forest management is expected to be multifunctional and economically as well as socially and ecologically sustainable [Harrison, S., Herbohn, J., Niskanen, A., 2002. Non-industrial, smallholder, small-scale and family forestry: what's in a name? Small-scale Forest Economics. Management and Policy 1 (1), 1-11; Schmithuesen, F., 2004. Forest policy developments in changing societies -- political trends and challenges to research. Towards the sustainable use of Europe's forests: Forest ecosystems and landscape research: Joensuu: European Forest Institute, Proc., vol. 49, pp. 87-99]. In this context, non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as forest honey, mushrooms, or berries could gain importance as an additional source of income for the forestry sector. To assess the market potential of NTFPs in Switzerland, two corresponding surveys were conducted. A consumer survey (NÂ =Â 897) conducted in six cities in Switzerland investigated the purchase of Swiss NTFPs, consumer preferences, and demand potentials. An additional survey of sellers of NTFPs (NÂ =Â 105) looked at these aspects from a complementary perspective. The results showed that there is a high esteem and considerable demand potential for such products among urban consumers. Food products were mentioned most frequently. Both consumers and sellers considered quality and environmental friendliness the most important attributes of NTFPs. Structural and organizational innovations and considerable marketing efforts and sales promotion would be required to expand the market for Swiss NTFP, however. Our results indicate that certification of the products' origin, environmental performance, and quality could support such efforts and that recreational and ecological forest services have a synergetic potential for the marketing of NTFPs.

Suggested Citation

  • Kilchling, Petra & Hansmann, Ralf & Seeland, Klaus, 2009. "Demand for non-timber forest products: Surveys of urban consumers and sellers in Switzerland," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 294-300, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:forpol:v:11:y:2009:i:4:p:294-300

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lakshman Krishnamurthi & S. P. Raj, 1991. "An Empirical Analysis of the Relationship Between Brand Loyalty and Consumer Price Elasticity," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(2), pages 172-183.
    2. Aguilar, Francisco X. & Vlosky, Richard P., 2007. "Consumer willingness to pay price premiums for environmentally certified wood products in the U.S," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(8), pages 1100-1112, May.
    3. Hansmann, Ralf & Koellner, Thomas & Scholz, Roland W., 2006. "Influence of consumers' socioecological and economic orientations on preferences for wood products with sustainability labels," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 239-250, April.
    4. Janse, Gerben & Ottitsch, Andreas, 2005. "Factors influencing the role of Non-Wood Forest Products and Services," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(3), pages 309-319, March.
    5. te Velde, Dirk Willem & Rushton, Jonathan & Schreckenberg, Kathrin & Marshall, Elaine & Edouard, Fabrice & Newton, Adrian & Arancibia, Erik, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in value chains of non-timber forest products," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(7), pages 725-741, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kaoma, Humphrey & Shackleton, Charlie M., 2015. "The direct-use value of urban tree non-timber forest products to household income in poorer suburbs in South African towns," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 104-112.
    2. Aoudji, Augustin K.N. & Adégbidi, Anselme & Ganglo, Jean C. & Agbo, Valentin & Yêvidé, Armand S.I. & De Cannière, Charles & Lebailly, Philippe, 2011. "Satisfaction across urban consumers of smallholder-produced teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) poles in South Benin," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 642-651, October.
    3. Géraud Krähenbühl, 2015. "Supply Analysis of the Forestry Industry," IRENE Working Papers 15-08, IRENE Institute of Economic Research.
    4. Cai, Mattia & Pettenella, Davide & Vidale, Enrico, 2011. "Income generation from wild mushrooms in marginal rural areas," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 221-226, March.
    5. Voces, Roberto & Diaz-Balteiro, Luis & Alfranca, Óscar, 2012. "Demand for wild edible mushrooms. The case of Lactarius deliciosus in Barcelona (Spain)," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 47-60.
    6. Shackleton, Charlie M. & Pandey, Ashok K., 2014. "Positioning non-timber forest products on the development agenda," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-7.


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