29 July 2021 News

Sidali K., Scaramuzzi S. (2014), “Group heterogeneity and cooperation in the governance of Geographical Indications. The case of Parmigiano Reggiano “mountain product””, International Agricultural Policy, n.1, pp.21-31

This study contributes to the call of many scholars to investigate the relationship between group heterogeneity and cooperation patterns in GI consortia. In particular, we focus on the solution of the problems of quality standardization derived by an increasing heterogeneity and free-riding behaviour among members. A framework adapted from Lee and Wall (2012) and Forster and Metcalfe (2012) is employed to identify the resources (inputs), conditions (facilitators) and innovation process (outputs) required for the formation of a new internal institution in the Consortium, as a tool for safeguarding “higher quality” within the common (outcome). This work uses a case-study approach and analyses the Parmigiano Reggiano (PR) Consortium in Italy. Specifically, we applied a ground-theory approach and conducted 24 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders at different levels (consortium, politicians, large-sized dairy farms, small-sized dairy farms, NGOs, members of PR route, PR museum) in the time frame of May 2012-August 2013. The governance patterns highlighted in this study give evidence of a high internal dynamism within GI Consortia. Our study confirms how governance strategies to reduce free riding in GI schemes and to re-establish cooperation can be implemented even through the creation of formal endogenous or exogenous institutions. However, cooperation can stem among homogenous sub-groups as a resilience strategy showing how a formal institutionalization of sub-consortia within a well established GI common may be successful.