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Strengthening sustainable food systems through geographical indications. An analysis of economic impacts

The purpose of this publication is to showcase the importance of Geographical Indications (GIs) and their positive impact on food quality and safety, as well as the economy. Reaffirming the right of every person to have access to safe, sufficient and nutritious food, consistent with the right to adequate food and the fundamental right to be free from hunger, the Second International Conference on Nutrition (19–21 November 2014) adopted a Framework for Action that provides a set of recommendations for governments. In particular, recommended actions for sustainable food systems promoting healthy diets include: strengthening local food production and processing, especially by smallholders and family farmers; promoting the diversification of crops, including underutilized traditional crops; and applying sustainable food production and natural resource management practices. Within this framework, the identification and promotion of links among local stakeholders, their areas and their food products through geographical indications (GIs) is a pathway to nutritious food systems and sustainable development for rural communities throughout the world. This study seeks to provide empirical evidence on the economic impacts that are generated through the Geographical Indication (GI) process beginning with the official recognition of a GI and the steps that follow. It focuses on the food sector and reviews nine cases, offering a variety of national contexts and local value chains. The approach, considers “operational” GI processes: those in which a code of practice (or specifications) is defined and the GI is used and managed by a collective organization. 

FAO, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development