Food security exists when all people at all times have physical, social and economic access to safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life (link to World Food Summit, 2009). In this context, FAO has expanded its activities in many spheres, particularly those of food safety, nutritional quality and specific food quality linked to special production systems (for example those of organic farming and fair trade). Issues relating to origin-linked quality are becoming increasingly important with the rise in consumer demand, producers’ interest and an international framework on geographical indication. FAO has therefore launched the Quality and Origin program concerning origin-linked quality in order to address needs in this connection.

The main objective is to assist member countries and stakeholders in implementing both local and institutional-level systems regarding origin-linked specific quality that are appropriate to their economic, social and cultural contexts and contribute to rural development through the preservation and promotion of products of origin-linked quality and associated local resources.