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The patrimony blind spot of Geographical Indication in state-centred governance: Mikawa region agri-food products in Japan

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Abstract

Geographical Indication (GI) has been employed in Europe to promote well-known agri-food products, many with reputations going back hundreds of years, so there has been an assumption that the protection of such historical patrimony would materi- alize in countries adopting European-style GI policies. However, from a public policy view in many new GI countries, the primary goal for GI has more narrowly been the expansion of economic opportunities and exports. The question we raise in this paper concerns the extent to which the prioritization of economic growth encourages GI regulators to accept and even encourage ahistorical territorial and production speci- fications that disadvantage or discourage the oldest and most traditional producers. This argument cen- tres around two renowned producers in the historical Mikawa Region of 1 Japan, which have struggled to realize the potential of GI or have become embroiled in legal disputes. We document how the GI authori- ties’ top-down implementation and utilitarian view of promoting production has clouded their ability to evaluate patrimony based upon historical merit, lead- ing to unfavourable starting positions for famous products with hundreds of years of history.

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Dates and versions

hal-03791270 , version 1 (29-09-2022)

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  • HAL Id : hal-03791270 , version 1

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Hart N. Feuer, Fatiha Fort. The patrimony blind spot of Geographical Indication in state-centred governance: Mikawa region agri-food products in Japan. Conference Worldwilde Perspectives on Geographical Indications: An International Conference for Researchers, Policy Makers and Practitioners, Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement (CIRAD); Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Jul 2022, Montpellier, France. pp.6-7. ⟨hal-03791270⟩
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