The engine of the value chain of natural resin is in the demand for derivative products and products which integrate these derivatives in their composition. The European natural resin faces global competitors and substitute products that threaten the sustainability of the sector. Its environmental, socioeconomic and technological values ​​must be strategically used for its promotion and differentiation.

SustForest Plus addresses in its third task force the development of a set of products that can be considered as a Plan for the promotion of the European Natural Resin as a technological and sustainable product.

The value chain of the European natural resin

SustForest Plus analyses the whole actors involved in the manufacturing process of products derived from the natural resins of southern Europe, from the forest to the final consumer, providing an overview of material flows and information, distribution of added value and appreciation of product characteristics throughout the value chain. The study will allow for the identification of determining aspects for the optimisation and improvement of productivity, efficiency, transparency and the increase of added value.

Resin and low carbon economy

The analysis of the carbon balance of the European natural resin production is addressed in order to highlight its environmental value compared with oil-derived resins, tall-oil derivatives and non-EU natural resins. If these duly motivated facts reach the final customer, who is increasingly demanding with regard to environmental issues, it could contribute to a better valuation of the product that will be reflected in an increase in the profitability of the resin extraction with the consequent territorial expansion.

The European natural resin

The guarantee origin labels are instruments perfectly adapted to the objective of “integrated territorial development” through the value chain, which operate a kind of “restructuring” of traditional forestry activities, such as the extraction of natural resins, among others of greater added value, linking them to the industrial sector and the final consumer. SustForest Plus is expected to develop the basis for the creation of a distinctive feature that differentiates natural resin from European forests from other market products, from non-EU sources and other substitute products, through an action that involves representatives of all the links of the value chain of the European resin sector.

Traceability of natural resin

Due to the growing worldwide concern about environmental issues, traceability systems have taken a major importance in the last decades as a solution for the control of the origin and the assurance of sustainable practices of exploitation and commercialisation of forestry products. SustForest Plus designs and develops a traceability system based on a computer application that enables to document in real time the route of the resin, from its extraction in the forest to the factory where the first transformation will take place.

This traceability of the product will facilitate the accreditation of the origin of the resin from European sources; it will serve as a business management tool for first-processing undertakings and will facilitate the procedures for monitoring and transaction closings between resin workers and companies.

International natural resin trade

In SustForest Plus we propose the design of a structured instrument for the gathering and analysis of information on the international market of resinous products. This is a monitoring function that allows for the anticipation of negative circumstances, regarding the public sector itself, its customers and its rivalry. The designed system will increase the market transparency and decision-making about the production and commercialisation of natural resin will be more informed, both for operators and sectorial organisations such as the European Network for Resin Territories.