Quality linked to origin: what is it?
Products of origin-linked quality have a reputation, quality or characteristics that are essentially a result of their geographical origin and are related to resources specific to the production or processing area. Quality linked to geographical origin represents both an heritage to preserve and a potential to differenciate the product on market.
This specific quality linked to geographical origin can be defined through a code of practice (or specifications) and be promoted with a designation or “label” referring to the origin. This strategy is based on voluntary action by local producers to define the associated characteristics collectively and produce the product in accordance with these specifications.
Development of origin-linked quality: a two-level approach
When this potential exists, origin-linked quality can be promoted with a designation or label referring to the origin. This strategy is based on voluntary action by local producers and a relevant institutional framework:
- at the local level: definition of the link between the product quality and geographical origin thanks to the product specifications (or code of practice), requiring a collective involvement of producers in their territory;
- at the national level: recognition of the specific quality linked to geographical origin; at this level, agricultural and rural development policies play an important role in supporting the local process and optimizing it as a tool for sustainable development.