As part of the Vinitech-Sifel Virtual exhibition, EUROCASTANEA the European chestnut network co-organized a live round table on December 3, inviting chestnut-producing countries from various areas in the world. In this roundtable, international representatives from China, Japan and Australia were live to testify on the chestnut industry in their country, the United States and Chile had transmitted pre-recorded video testimonies.
Thus, an international network of exchanges built itself, the culmination of which is the annual event called the Chestnut Days in September (in France in 2021).
The situations of the invited countries are contrasted but all are facing strong pressure from diseases and pests in the context of highly impacting climate change.
In China, there is a continuous increase in production (in 2010: 1.645.000 t, in 2019: 2.000.000 t) mainly on the domestic market and Southeast Asia. This country is known for its strong product innovation, in particular for a recent product, consumed in summer, the “ice chestnut ”, as they call it. These are frozen roasted chestnuts.
In Japan, production is declining due to strong competition from Korea and China and low profitability due to global warming.
In Chile, production is still marginal but growing (500 t with a forecast of 1000 t). The country exports to Europe (to Italy and France).
The production of the USA, with its 300 Ha is a niche but the production is growing.
Eurocastanea’s presence at Vinitech Sifel was made possible largely through collaboration between Interco Nouvelle-Aquitaine, AREFLH and France’s South West Interprofessional Union of Chestnuts. The event this year was virtual, but still it allowed to show the dynamism of the chestnut sector, and the mobilization of its members. Vinitech-Sifel was also an opportunity to present a video on chestnut producers in the 5 member countries of the network (France, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Austria).
One of Eurocastanea’s missions is to promote the chestnut and its exceptional potential. Its derivative products are easy to consume thanks to innovation. Today, this fruit fully meets societal expectations of naturalness, quality and food safety.
All the presentations of the countries mentioned above Eurocastanea are available on request. The next European Chestnut Days will take place in France from September 16 to 18, 2021 in New Aquitaine (contact email@example.com).