Thirty representatives from EUROCASTANEA showcased the many assets of the European Chestnut Network to the European Parliament on the 4th December 2019.
On the 4th of December, chestnut sector representatives from France, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria had the opportunity to present the strengths and weaknesses of European chestnut producers to the members of the Parliament. MEP Pina Picierno (S&D), who hosted the event, highlighted the importance of chestnut orchards and its occupancy of rural territories, also focusing on the high nutritive value of this particular fruit and on the strong potential of its interesting gluten-free composition.
The other MEPs who took the floor at the meeting to share their views in support of the European Chestnut sector were MEPs Isabel Carvalhais (S&D), Álvaro Amaro (EPP) and Paolo de Castro (S&D). All MEPs present agreed on the multifunctionality of the chestnut both as a fruit tree and a timber tree. Their interventions underlined how chestnut orchards are essential in the rural landscape because the trees often grow where no other production could be harvested. The orchards also contribute to the fight against climate change thanks to their determining role in carbon sequestration (carbon stock and flux) in ligneous biomass. Furthermore, the MEPs noted that the old chestnut trees are home to an exceptional biodiversity in their cavities.