Shared Meals and Food Fights

Geographical Indications, Rural Development, and the Environment

Authors: Fabio Parasecoli and Aya Tasaki
Volume 2, Number 1 (2011)

The first Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) was Côtes du Rhône, approved in 1937, for the Rhône wine region. Each wine-producing area was entitled to create rules to discipline its viticulture (grape varieties that could be used, their proportion in the allowed blends, the aging methods, and so on), within general guidelines imposed by the central authority (photograph by Megan Cole via Flickr, CC BY 2.0).

The first Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) was Côtes du Rhône, approved in 1937, for the Rhône wine region. Each wine-producing area was entitled to create rules to discipline its viticulture (grape varieties that could be used, their proportion in the allowed blends, the aging methods, and so on), within general guidelines imposed by the central authority (photograph by Megan Cole via Flickr, CC BY 2.0).

Abstract:

The article highlights relevant issues within the global debate on geographical indications, as they relate to food products. Geographical indications, a form of intellectual property designated by considering principally the place of origin of products, have become a hot topic among producers, activists, economists, and politicians worldwide. Commercial and legal issues related to them have generated complex negotiations in international organizations and national institutions, while their cultural aspects have stimulated theoretical debates about the impact of global trade on local identities. Geographical indications could become a valid tool to implement community-based, sustainable, and quality-oriented agriculture, depending on the sociopolitical environment and whether they are relevant for the producers involved, affordable in terms of administrative and management costs, and applicable on different scales of production. The article also explores the environmental impact of geographical indications and their potential in ensuring the livelihood of rural communities in emerging economies and promoting sustainable agricultural models.


 

FABIO PARASECOLI is a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies at New York University. His research focuses on the intersections among food, media, and politics. His most recent projects focus on food design and the synergies between food studies and design. After covering Middle and Far Eastern political issues, he wrote for many years as the US correspondent for Gambero Rosso, Italy’s authoritative food and wine magazine. Recent books include Bite Me! Food in Popular Culture (2008), the six-volume Cultural History of Food (2012, coedited with Peter Scholliers), Al Dente: A History of Food in Italy (2014), Feasting Our Eyes: Food, Film, and Cultural Citizenship in the US (2016, with Laura Lindenfeld), and Knowing Where It Comes From: Labeling Traditional Foods to Compete in a Global Market (2017).

AYA TASAKI is a queer immigrant activist and native of Japan with bicultural roots. She earned her MA in international affairs from The New School. Her thesis focused on US immigration policies, inspired by the work she does with the Audre Lorde Project surrounding the queer people of color community. She has contributed to the Kathmandu Post and Y! Magazine while doing research on migrants in Nepal.

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