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The key role of Geographical Indications in the governance of 'terroir niches'. Insights from three Corsican case studies

Belmin R., Casabianca F.. 2018. Chania : s.n., 13 p.. European IFSA Symposium. 13, 2018-07-01/2018-07-05, Chania (Grèce).

Geographical Indications (GIs) are powerful governance tools for localized agri-food systems, exerting significant but ambivalent influence over local innovation processes. Although some GIs protect endogenous innovation pathways, others play a driving role in the standardization of production methods and tastes. To better understand the regulatory role of GIs, we studied the innovation pathway in three 'terroir niches' in the island of Corsica -namely Brocciu, Corsican charcuterie and Corsican clementine -over the past 30 years. 'Terroir niches' are understood as sociotechnical niches whose development is influenced by specific rules embedded in the biophysical environment and resources of a given place. For Brocciu, Corsican charcuterie and Corsican clementine, the implementation of GIs respectively led to standardization, fragmentation and differentiation. Cross-case analysis suggeststhat these terroir niches are opened systems that interact with actors, rules and technologies that are structured at a more global scale. Results also show contrasted effects of GIs on local innovation pathways. GIs influence the niches' innovation pathways through: (i) The functioning of the GIs' Defence and Management Organizations; (ii) The trade-offs embodied in the GI specifications, between local and global rules; (iii) The collective learnings developed during GI elaboration; (iv) The changes in the structure of the niche's actor network provoked by the GI; (v) The protection mechanism provided by the GI.

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