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Controversies around geographical indications. Are democracy and representativeness the solution?

Marie-Vivien D., Carimentrand A., Fournier S., Cerdan C., Sautier D.. 2019. British Food Journal, 121 (12) : p. 2995-3010.

DOI: 10.1108/BFJ-04-2019-0242

Purpose ¿ The purpose of this paper is to advance our understanding of the links between the representativeness of the local community by those drafting and elaborating the specification of the geographical indication (GI), the market access and the use of the GI. Design/methodology/approach ¿ The present study followed a comparative research design, building upon primary data from the field works dealing with the elaboration and development of GIs worldwide, from legislations on the protection of GIs and from secondary data, i.e. literature dealing with the elaboration of the GI specifications at case level or national/international level. Findings ¿ The GI is permeable to a multitude of objectives and the management of controversies represent the ¿price of participatory democracy¿, which still needs to be under the umbrella of the justice of peace, the State authority. Representativeness does not necessarily conduct to equity and fairness. It depends on the heterogeneity of the value chain, which might lead to the dilution of the GI specificity. Mandatory membership might not be always the best option Transparency to guarantee the producer's group works for the common good is essential. Originality/value ¿ The controversies in the elaboration of the GI product specification are directly induced by the controversies in the management of the GI either by the collective organisation of producers or by the public authority. Issues such as representativeness, mandatory membership, transparency and heterogeneity of the value chain are deeply analysed to understand the functioning of GI producers associations and their limits. The state intervention as justice of the peace appears necessary.

Mots-clés : gestion fondée sur la participation; communauté locale; groupe d'intérêt; approches participatives; approches communautaires; organisation de producteurs; indication géographique; système de production agricole

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