Quality and Origin Program

Quality linked to geographical origin:  people, places and products

FAO is implementing the Quality and Origin program to support the development of quality linked to geographical origin products that will contribute to rural development.

Some agricultural and food products are distinguished from one another by certain characteristics, qualities or reputations resulting essentially from their geographical origin. This differentiation can be attributed to the unique local features of the product, its history or its distinctive character linked to natural or human factors such as soil, climate, local know-how and traditions (all covered by the term "terroir").

These products of origin-linked quality can increase food security, inasmuch as they contribute to rural development and the preservation of food diversity, while also offering consumers a wider choice. Indeed, thanks to the link between such products and their areas of origin, they can help to preserve local resources, maintain traditions, strengthen the organization of local stakeholders and prevent delocalization and the rural exodus.

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Geographical Indications for sustainable food systems
Preserving and promoting agricultural and food heritage

A geographical indication (GI) is a label that applies to products with specific quality, reputation or other characteristics resulting from their geographical origin. These specific characteristics can be the result of natural or human factors. GIs are protected by intellectual property rights (IPR) according to the World Trade Organization agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and the Geneva Act.
GIs represent a collective asset linked to local heritage and reputation.

Origin-linked products can become the pivotal point of an origin-linked virtuous circle, through a territorial strategy of promotion, which effects are reinforced over time. This allows the creation of value, preservation of bio-cultural assets, activation of social networks, all contributing to sustainable production and consumption system. The first step to enter the circle is the identification phase; it is crucial to assess whether there is a specific quality linked to a geographical origin (Product), what the resources involved are (Place) and who the stakeholders mobilized for such a process are (People).


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  • Ministère de l'Agriculture
  • AFD
  • CTA
  • ESA
  • ERDB
  • ETH
  • GRET
  • AU

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