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Analysis of Significant Factors Influencing the Amount of Collected Forest Berries in the Czech Republic

Riedl, Marcel, Jarský, Vilém, Zahradník, Daniel, Palátová, Petra, Dudík, Roman, Meňházová, Jitka, Šišák, Luděk
Forests 2020 v.11 no.10
Rubus idaeus, Rubus plicatus, Vaccinium myrtillus, Vaccinium vitis-idaea, bilberries, blackberries, economic impact, forest ecosystems, forests, fruits, growing season, nontimber forest products, prices, raspberries, sociodemographic characteristics, statistical analysis, sustainable forestry, wild foods, Czech Republic
Bilberries (Vaccinium myrtillus L.), raspberries (Rubus idaeus L.), blackberries (Rubus fruticosus L.) and cowberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.) are the most important forest berries collected in the Czech Republic (CZ). The average annual value of these collected berry species is estimated to be worth more than EUR 86 million at 2018 prices. The data concerning the collection and use of forest fruits have been systematically collected in a highly detailed structure since 2008, which enables the application of the advanced statistical methods used in this paper. The results of the analyses inter alia demonstrate that collecting forest berries is not only an important recreational activity, but it has an important economic effect. Therefore, this article also deals with the collection of forest fruits, especially bilberries, as a potentially important non-wood forest product (NWFP) for sustainable forest management and also analyses the external factors influencing the total annual amount of collected forest berries. A deeper knowledge of the customer and his or her behaviour—customer insight—are prerequisites for the proactive management of forest ecosystems. The first step to “berry picker insight” is to learn more about the demand, its structure and factors which influence this demand. Thus, one of the research questions concentrates on the analysis of the sociodemographic characteristics of the berry picker that are relevant for explaining the amount of collected forest berries in the Czech Republic. Knowledge of these factors can contribute to a more effective application of marketing methods for shaping and influencing the demand so that, in terms of time and place, it is more in line with the supply, which is limited by the natural conditions, growing season and production potential of forest ecosystems.