EMMA, Special Berries to the Market
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006
Objective of the project
A functional development farm model created in previous projects for testing new cultivars for farming was applied to cranberries, arctic raspberries and wild strawberries in cooperation with a Russian partner. The goals of the project were to increase the skills in farming, refining and marketing and to introduce new special berry cultivars to farming in order to increase industry opportunities and profitable business operations in rural areas.
• Establishment of permanent company networks and identification of new market areas, • Creation of a trilingual website (Finnish, English and Russian) at www.marjamaa.fi. (The site contains information on several berry species and an intranet intended for farmers), • Production of guides for berry-farming, • Encouraging companies to create ideas for refined products and seeking their own funding for product development. • Seeking biochemical characteristics from berries in order to support refining activities and marketing.
Information was gained about the ecology of special berries and farming. A strong, innovative and functional cooperation network was created during the project. A website was created for consumers in three languages (Finnish, English and Russian) at www.marjamaa.fi. The site contains berry-specific brochures (Aronia, Wild Strawberry, Cloudberry, Cranberry, Buckthorn, Arctic Bramble, Blueberry, Western Serviceberry, Raspberry and Rowan), which were intended to create awareness of the berries and the products they are used in. The website also includes, for example, an intranet intended for farmers. Farming guides for farming cloudberries and cranberries were also produced in the project. Farming was developed in cooperation. There were approximately five hectares of cloudberries being farmed outdoors during the summer of 2008, and year-round greenhouse farming had been found to be successful. Issues related to pests and pollination were found to still need development in both sectors; however, the farming technology itself was already established. The cranberries had started growing well and berry production was expected from the trial farms. The farms have continued to develop crop growing in accordance with their expertise and some have expanded their farms. The markets have been studied and potential buyers for the berries have been found to exist both domestically and internationally. A packing prototype has been developed for individually packaged special berries and at the end of the project it was still waiting to be utilised and distributed by an entrepreneur. Further research projects are still needed for special berries, particularly regarding pollination development – for example, in developing how to utilise hover-flies to pollinate cloudberries. Similarly, research is needed on how to protect crops from the loosestrife leaf beetle using natural means.
Duration2005-01-01 - 2007-12-31
Total Budget / Programme funding381 980 € / 343 784 €
Lead partnerRural Advisory Centre of Kainuu
Lead partner web-site
PartnersThe Science Academy of the Karelian Republic
The Ministry and Advisory Centre of the Republic of Karelia
University of Oulu / Sotkamo Bio-laboratory
Finland’s Environmental Administration/Research centre of the Park of friendship
Companies in the area