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Labelling the origin of food products: towards sustainable territorial development?

Lopez Moreno, I.

Abstract

The transition from domestic to market economy in rural areas of Europe is an ongoing process that affect and is affected by local and global dynamics. The outcome of this process is unique, but if we analyse and compare each case, it is possible to find patterns and common tendencies. This book highlights the unique and common elements of these transitions, and in order to do so, it takes as reference one case from the south of Europe, the attempt to achieve a PDO certification for local cured sheep cheese, and other from Western Europe, the design and unfold of a Regional Label for local lamb meat. The thesis of this book underline is the existence of a “quality turn” in Europe, and analyse how Origin Food Labels can instruments to institutionalise new forms of co-production and co-evolution that enhance sustainable territorial development. At the same time, the ethnographic nature of this research highlights that these are controversial and political processes, where local and non-local actors with different interests find each other and try to unfold their own projects. The use of a comparative strategy highlights how these transitions are influenced by local institutional frameworks and cultural patterns, but it also shows how collective action can change them.