Economic revival of Iranian licorice (ERIL), from farm to market

Licorice derivatives are the second most profitable herbal commodity of Iran that accounts for 40 million dollars of the country's foreign exchange earnings. Despite China, licorice industry in Iran is export oriented and 95% of national production is sold to foreign manufacturers. In addition, the production cost in Iran is much lower compared to Europe and US. These two factors make Iran the world first licorice supplier.
Iranian licorice business, however, has declined during the last 10 years mostly due to the shrinking natural resources because Glycyrrhiza glabra is mainly collected from its natural habitats. This will not only threaten the licorice industry nationally but also will affect the price in International market. Therefore, the economic revival of Iranian licorice can be considered as a movement that needs close cooperation between producers, end users, policy makers and researchers. ERIL is designed as a 5 years project and has two phases, The Farm Phase and the Market Phase.
Besides root of Glycyrrhiza glabra that is source of licorice, its bee pollinated flowers are source of pollen and nectar for Apis mellifera. This is the junction between the project and the Department of Palynology and Climate Dynamics. In addition to the main two phases of project, we are interested in investigating the effect of establishing apiaries beside Glycyrrhiza farms on sexual reproduction of plant and examining the quality and marketability of produced monofloral Glycyrrhiza honey.