An important requirement when producers apply for protected designation of origin (PDO) or protected geographical indications (PGIs) is to adapt and agree on a concise definition of the geographical boundaries and area of the product. Whereas PDO products must be both strongly ecologically and culturally embedded in the specific area, PGI products are allowed a weaker degree of embeddedness. The research question of this paper is: How are geographical boundaries becoming PDOs and PGIs? The paper aims to discuss these issues.
The analysis is based on diverse forms of empirical material. Document studies of laws, policy documents, etc. have been analyzed to uncover what kind of measures and concepts that have been important for implementation of the scheme in Norway. Interviews with producer organizations have involved the persons responsible for working out product regulations in producer organizations. Interviews have also been conducted with key informants representing public administrative bodies administering the regulation. All interviews have been semi-structured.
The analysis identifies a set of important conditions for the boundary work of PDO-PGI in Norway. The conditions can generally be said to be characterized by a weak understanding of the food-people-places nexus and a strong reliance on instrumentalised system logic in how to deal with the map-nature dimension in boundary work. The short answer to the research question is that geographical boundaries are becoming PDO and PGI through controversies.
The controversies are characterized by what is defined as cultural adaptation work. The actors overall adaptation work is understood as the sum of the practices that takes place in the interplay between people’s translations of language and knowledge, reorganization of social relationships and transformation of materiality. The interplay is embedded in the tension between the global and the local, the old and the new and results in both intended and unintended consequences.
This paper forms part of a special section “Controversy and sustainability for localised agrofood systems: thinking a dynamic link”.
Hegnes, A. (2019), "The map and the terroir: Adapting geographical boundaries for PDO and PGI in Norway", British Food Journal, Vol. 121 No. 12, pp. 3024-3042. https://doi.org/10.1108/BFJ-10-2018-0720Download as .RIS
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