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EAN-SEABUCK — Result In Brief

Project ID: 16106
Funded under: FP6-FOOD
Country: Germany

EU-Asia collaboration promotes sea buckthorn

Who would have thought that a lowly seaside shrub could provide a model for rural economic development, environmental protection and healthy living?
EU-Asia collaboration promotes sea buckthorn
Hippophae rhamnoides is found in many parts of Asia and Europe, especially near the coastline – hence its more common name, sea buckthorn. Its berries contain vitamin C, flavonoids, phenols and many other beneficial bio-active compounds. The therapeutic properties of the berries are well known in both traditional Asian and Russian medicine.

Used in both health products and cosmetics, sea buckthorn berries are in high demand in Europe. In fact, there aren't enough berries to go around. For this reason, collaboration was initiated between the EU and Asia in the form of the 'Establishment of European-Asian network for the development of strategies to enhance the sustainable use of sea buckthorn' (Ean-Seabuck) project.

The idea was to raise awareness about the benefits, both health and financial, of cultivating sea buckthorn in rural areas in Asia. Expertise and experience in maximising the harvest and product quality was shared by the European participants in the EU-funded project. Such farming methods also help fight soil erosion and thus further promote sustainability. Finally, efforts were made to expand the market for sea buckthorn products into Russia and the Newly Independent States.

The hope was to provide incentive to the rural Asian population to stay local rather than move to metropolitan areas by earning a living raising sea buckthorn. The increased production will satisfy demand coming from Europe and increasingly from Russia and its neighbours.

Dissemination efforts, including flyers, conference presentations and a project website, helped draw attention to the project and its encouraging findings.

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