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Monday, 9 November 2020

Patricia Covarrubia

The future of Geographical Indications – we need you

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The website of the International Conference ‘Worldwide Perspectives on Geographical Indications’ has arrived. As far as the plan is (we cannot predict what Covid-19 restrictions will be in place), this would be held in beautiful Rome, Italy on 6-9 July 2021 at the FAO headquarters.

Geographical Indications are ‘signs’ used on products such as spirits (‘tequila’ in Mexico), wines (Vale dos Vinhedos’ in Brazil), food (‘Quinoa Real’ in Bolivia), handicraft (‘Montecristi’ in Ecuador) that have a specific geographical origin (the reason for its name/label).

Why do we need you?

The conference is an interdisciplinary affair and aims to listen to everyone in the area of agriculture and trade linked to GIs– we mean, EVERYONE. From public authorities to producers, policymakers to practitioners and stakeholders to academics, you name it, and we will have a space for you.

There is a call for contributions divided into FOUR categories: 1) Defining GIs, you can expect here the obvious origin deliberation but…yes, I like this part ‘GIs and innovation’ covering technology, and methods. I am quite interested in this as we understand that while one of the keys of a GI is linked to the know-how that has been used for decades or even centuries, we cannot expect for them to be kept like that due to climate change, deterioration of resources, etc., there needs to be some flexibility for innovation without deteriorating the GI as such; 2) Managing GIs – covering governance, control, certification mechanisms, enforcement and including marketing; 3) GIs and sustainability covering the heated debate ‘climate change’, this category seeks to evaluate GIs impact (be it economic, social, environmental; cultural, etc.); finally 4) GI and consumers, we all know that GIs without consumers is like having ‘fish’ without ‘chips’ (for my British readers), so this category aims to look at the impact that GI may have on diets and looking at different labels that are used to link a product to a locality.

We are looking for participants around the world and I am indeed looking for participants from developing countries (check fees and financial support). To submit your contribution and abstract of no more than 500 words is needed -- deadline is before 18 December 2020. The beauty is that contributions can be in Spanish (cough cough my Latin American friends), English or French (simultaneous translation will be available on the date).

For the full invitation check here. For the submission of contribution check here. When accessing the page, just tap (left-hand side corner) for the desired language.


Patricia Covarrubia

Patricia Covarrubia