The long-term fortunes of territories as a route for agri-food policies: evidence from Geographical Indications
Copyright (c) 2021 Cristina Vaquero-Piñeiro
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Once the EU has perceived the strategic importance of local peculiarities to support rural development and high-quality productions, it has emphasized the need for more place-sensitive agri-food policies. The importance of socio-economic, historical and cultural factors as transfers of intangible value-added is particularly evident in the agri-food sector. Place-blind and sectorial-oriented approaches have indeed not succeeded in dealing with the territorial heterogeneity of agri-food systems. By delving into the longstanding debate on the conceptualizations of territory and focusing on the territories of origin of the most economically performant Italian Protected Designation of Origins (PDOs), this paper empirically investigates what are the contextual conditions that have mainly contributed in the economic success of local productions. Drawing on an original geo-referenced database, the analysis is conducted on a panel of Italian municipalities and exploits non-linear dynamic panel models. Findings point out the heterogeneity of affecting territorial factors. Imbalances come from both socio-economic conditions (food PDOs) and socio-cultural knowledge (wine PDOs). This paper informs the evidence-based debate on the relevance of territorially-sensitive interventions for the future of EU agri-food and rural development policies. In the case of GIs, it should consider being more place-sensitive as well as more integrated with other agricultural and regional policies to meet the EU’s socio-economic objectives.