Knowledge for better food systems

Geographical indication and global agri-food

This book explores the controversies surrounding the use of geographical indication labels on food and their relationship to different forms of socio-economic development.

Publisher’s summary

This book addresses the relevance of geographical indication (GI) as a tool for local and socio-economic development and democratisation of agri-food, with case studies from Asia, Europe and the Americas.

A geographical indication is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. It provides not only a way for businesses to leverage the value of their geographically unique products, but also to inform and attract consumers. A highly contested topic, GI is praised as a tool for the revitalisation of agricultural communities, while also criticised for being an instrument exploited by global corporate forces to promote their interests. There are concerns that the promotion of GI may hamper the establishment of democratic forms of development. The contributing authors address this topic by offering theoretically informed investigations of GI from around the world. The book includes case studies ranging from green tea in Japan, olive oil in Turkey and dried fish in Norway, to French wine and Mexican Mezcal. It also places GI in the broader context of the evolution and trends of agri-food under neoliberal globalisation.

The book will be of interest to researchers, policy makers and students in agri-food studies, sociology of food and agriculture, geography, agricultural and rural economics, environmental and intellectual property law, and social development.

 

Reference

Bonanno, A., Sekine, K., & Feuer, H. N. (2019). Geographical Indication and Global Agri-Food. Routledge, London and New York.

Read more here. See also the video Screencast: Geographical indications and terroir (Céline Michaud) in the Foodsource video library.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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