65 research outputs found

    Why early collective action pays off: evidence from setting Protected Geographical Indications

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    AbstractThe registration of Geographical Indications (GIs) under the European Union (EU) legislation requires collective action and considerable efforts borne by multiple actors such as producers, processors, public authorities and research centers. We analyze their efforts, risks and benefits by comparing two EU GI registration processes in Italy and Austria, namely the Sorana bean Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and the Perry from Mostviertel PGI. Results from the institutional and transaction costs analysis suggest that intensive interaction for solving conflicting interests, negotiating quality standards and defining common rules might pay off in indirect benefits and reduced risks. In particular, an inclusion of diverse and heterogeneous interest groups and a high degree of direct enterprise participation along the GI application process (as observed in the Italian case) generate benefits such as trust and social cohesion, which then support the actual use of the GI label and a better implementation of associated quality standards. A supportive legal framework with assistance from public authorities can back up the community of producers not only in technical aspects, but also as mediators when conflicts seem to be difficult to solve. As there seems to be a positive relationship between the intensity and effectiveness of collective action and the likelihood of achieving broadly accepted standards and social cohesion needed for successful GI implementation, the question for future research would not be how to avoid collective efforts but how to effectively organize the interaction among heterogeneous producer groups

    Do Historical Production Practices and Culinary Heritages Really Matter? Food with Protected Geographical Indications in Japan and Austria

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    Background: Geographical indications (GIs) are collective intellectual property rights that protect food and other products uniquely linked to the production area, local geophysical conditions, and traditions, namely, with the terroir. Thus, GIs can contribute to the transmission and retention of culinary heritages and historical production practices. Methods: Based on an analysis of application documents, we compare the historical linkages of all the Japanese and Austrian GI products. Although more than half of the Japanese applications refer to historical roots in the 20th century, the median of the Austrian GI linkages is in the 17th century. To closely examine these GI linkages, and to better understand their relevance to current cultivation practices, we compared three Japanese cases with roots of diverging depth to the first Austrian GI regarding motivations, geographical and historical linkages, and current cultivation practices and governance. Results: The comparison found that all four products refer to the historical roots of the product name, the product varieties, or cultivation techniques. However, deeper roots did not automatically translate into higher priorities of protecting these historical linkages. The four in-depth case studies found that historic provenance and traditional production methods, although prominently highlighted in the official GI documents of all four GIs, were eclipsed by commercial motivations for GI protection and/or current production practices. In the cases analyzed, we found some potential mismatches between GI historical claims in registration documents and actual GI cultivation and GI management practices. Conclusions: We conclude that our four GI cases do not represent “museums of production” or overly fixed perceptions of history. However, the collective action of the producer group has resulted in dynamic local cultivation practices without restricting innovation. The GI status has rather resulted in the protection of local farmers' collective action and old varieties than in the protection of old production methods

    The Plurality of Farmers’ Views on Soil Management Calls for a Policy Mix

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    While soil degradation is continuing to threaten the global agricultural production system, a common understanding of how to encourage sustainable soil management is missing. With this study, we aim to provide new insights on targeted policies that address the heterogeneity of farmers. We scrutinized the plurality of views on soil management among arable farmers in the Austrian (and European) policy context. To do so, we applied Q methodology, a method that identifies different perspectives on a topic present in a population and analyzes this subjectivity statistically. We interviewed 34 arable land farmers who varied in their farming backgrounds. The results yielded four different viewpoints on soil management held by the interviewed farmers: two rather ecocentric perspectives (Nature Participants, Pleasure Seekers) and two rather anthropocentric perspectives (Traditional Food Providers, Profit Maximizers). Our study shows that farmers’ soil management is influenced by more than economic considerations and suggests that a mix of policy approaches is needed to reach all farmers and avoid adverse effects of excluding farmers. We provide several suggestions for policymakers on how to complement agri-environmental policies: appealing to human-nature relationships, offering training and experimentation services, fostering social networks, and raising the social reputation of farmers

    Selbstermächtigung und Selbstorganisation als Schlüssel für nachhaltige Lern- und Transformationsprozesse in der Region Römerland Carnuntum

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    The region Römerland Carnuntum (Lower Austria) is located between the metropolitan areas of Vienna andBratislava and benefits from dynamic demographic and economic development. However, these processes ofgrowth and rapid change are accompanied by specific challenges that are controversial and much-discussed within the region. The question comes up, how a high level of quality of life can be secured in the future and how a transformation towards sustainability can be initiated and established. Since traditional instruments of spatial planning, structural policy, and regional development increasingly show deficits in the face of such complex, multidimensional challenges, the region has set itself the goal of breaking new ground in cooperation, self-organisation, and self-empowerment, within the framework of which the actors in the region become self-organized, collaborative and long-term carriers of sustainable learning and transformation processes in the region. This article describes the structure of the project and highlights, in particular,challenges related to the committee 'Zukunftsrat Römerland Carnuntum', as a basis for self-empowerment, self-organisation and transformative learning as well as to the start-up phase of the transdisciplinary collaboration.First insights after almost one year of project runtime show, that therepresentative composition of the Zukunftsrat, and especially the random selection of citizens proved to be difficult. Nevertheless, the projekt benefits from outstanding commitment and a high willingness to participate on the part of the regional population

    Diverse types of knowledge on a plate: a multi-perspective and multi-method approach for the transformation of urban food systems towards sustainable diets

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    Urbanization processes are accompanied by growing global challenges for food systems. Urban actors are increasingly striving to address these challenges through a focus on sustainable diets. However, transforming food systems towards more sustainable diets is challenging and it is unclear what the local scope of action might be. Co-production of knowledge between science and non-science is particularly useful for analysing context-specific solutions and promise to result in more robust socio-economic, political and technical solutions. Thus, this paper aims to integrate different types and sources of knowledge to understand urban food systems transformation towards a more sustainable diet in Vienna; and, second, to analyse and reflect on the difficulties and ways forward to integrate diverse actors’ perspectives, multiple methods and epistemologies. We created different future scenarios that illustrate the synergies and trade-offs of various bundles of measures and the interactions among single dimensions of sustainable diets. These scenarios show that there is plenty of scope for local action, but co-ordination across diverse groups, interests, and types of knowledge is necessary to overcome lock-ins

    There is No Single Challenge, Nor Single Solution, for Food Systems Transformations: Making plurality visible

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    There is a growing call (and agreement) to transform food systems towards sustainable, just and healthy systems, understanding that transformation is about fundamental, system- wide changes, beyond piecemeal interventions (see Box 1 for the new FACCE-JPI approach to food systems). But, what does transformation look like? Is there a consensus about what we want to transform in food systems, who will do it and how? The objective of this policy brief is to call for fairer, more inclusive and eventually, more effective decisions on food systems transformations. For doing so, it focuses on decision-making under uncertainty, highlighting complexity and framings as two components of this: On one hand complexity requires us to avoid oversimplification of messages (see the livestock section) and on the other, framing calls for the integration of a plurality of values and worldviews (see the governance section). Thus, in the context of the UNFSS objective of transforming food systems, this brief aims to raise awareness of decision makers about the need of developing and using knowledge and tools that i) tackle the complexity of food systems as complex social-ecological systems, and ii) recognise the existence of different framing and values in a context of uncertainty. We also reflect on the role of science in this process. While our focus is global, we focus on Europe to exemplify our arguments. Yet, transformation cannot happen in one world region independently from the others. A global movement requires first adopters to start the process.Peer reviewe
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