29 July 2021 News

Quiñones-Ruiz, Xiomara F; Penker, Marianne; Belletti, Giovanni; Marescotti, Andrea; Scaramuzzi, Silvia (2016). Why early collective action pays off: Evidence from setting Protected Geographical Indications. RENEWABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS, vol. 32, pp. 179-192

The registration of Geographical Indications (GIs) under the European Union (EU) legislation requires collective action and considerable efforts borne by multiple actors such as producers, processors, public authorities and research centers. We analyze their efforts, risks and benefits by comparing two EU GI registration processes in Italy and Austria, namely the Sorana bean Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and the Perry from Mostviertel PGI. Results from the institutional and transaction costs analysis suggest that intensive interaction for solving conflicting interests, negotiating quality standards and defining common rules might pay off in indirect benefits and reduced risks. In particular, an inclusion of diverse and heterogeneous interest groups and a high degree of direct enterprise participation along the GI application process (as observed in the Italian case) generate benefits such as trust and social cohesion, which then support the actual use of the GI label and a better implementation of associated quality standards. A supportive legal framework with assistance from public authorities can back up the community of producers not only in technical aspects, but also as mediators when conflicts seem to be difficult to solve. As there seems to be a positive relationship between the intensity and effectiveness of collective action and the likelihood of achieving broadly accepted standards and social cohesion needed for successful GI implementation, the question for future research would not be how to avoid collective efforts but how to effectively organize the interaction among heterogeneous producer groups.