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Institution building and local industry dynamics: lessons from the rooibos GI initiative

Troskie D., Biénabe E.. 2013. In : Bramley Cerkia (ed.), Biénabe Estelle (ed.), Kirsten Johann F. (ed.). Developing geographical indications in the South : The Southern African experience. Dordrecht : Springer [Pays-Bas], p. 95-121.

This chapter draws on the authors' close involvement in the process of developing a GI for the Rooibos industry in South Africa. It analyses the building of a GI strategy in the context of an export-oriented industry which seeks to gain international recognition of its GI through applying for registration of the Rooibos name as a Protected Denomination of Origin (PDO) within the European Union. In documenting the application process, emphasis is placed on the negotiation of local collective rules for defining the product and collectively managing its quality. The linkages between this GI initiative and actions towards biodiversity conservation are instrumental for this industry. Indeed, Rooibos is produced in a highly biodiverse region, the fynbos biome, and at the same time, has known substantial transformations recently in terms of cultivation expansion and intensification that are seen as a serious threat to the environment. These linkages significantly contribute to inform local GI processes and trade-offs in the context of a strong industry drive supported by different public and private stakeholders. It contributes to the understanding of the appropriate balance between State versus industry driven GI development processes. This chapter also brings insights into implications for industries of the current institutional heterogeneity at international level. It highlights the challenges of interpreting foreign legal requirements in a vacuum of formalised cooperation and support, and stresses the importance in this context of informal networks and relations, thereby also raising the question of whether the current international framework sufficiently allows for the specific characteristics of Southern Countries. (Résumé d'auteur)

Mots-clés : connaissance indigène; technologie traditionnelle; agro-industrie; commercialisation; biodiversité; provenance; Étiquetage des produits; label de qualité; qualité; produit alimentaire; fabaceae; pays de l'union européenne; afrique du sud; aspalathus linearis; indication géographique

Thématique : Commerce, commercialisation et distribution; Agro-industrie

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