Storytelling in applications for the EU quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs: place, origin and tradition

Keywords: designations of origin, geographical indications, traditional specialities, food labels, food quality, agricultural products, socio-economic factors, policy making


Aim of study: How are successful applications for quality labels for food and agricultural products written? This research aims to answer this question through the study of the applications for three quality labels within the EU Scheme for Agricultural and Foodstuffs: Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Traditional Speciality Guaranteed (TSG). The research focuses in determining the topics and narratives that describe the link with the geographical area for the two former and the traditional  character for the latter.

Area of study: Europe.

Material and methods: Using a Qualitative Data Analysis, the research analyses 132 products registered on the scheme between January 2016 and April 2019. The researcher categorized a total of 1,724 excerpts and studied the sections on the link with the geographical area for PDOs and PGIs, and the key elements establishing the product’s traditional character for TSGs.

Main results: Main results offer quantitative and qualitative outputs. They indicate that cultural and social issues make up the half of the story arguing about the products, and natural, space/place and time/history make up the second half in proportions that depend on the type of scheme. Topic and storytelling analyses revealed particular understandings of place, origins and traditions in narratives developing on agriculture, history and knowledge transference between generations. The applicants used socio-economic particularities, regional history, and environmental uniqueness to justify the special character of products.

Research highlights: The results give practitioners, policymakers and institutions guidelines and recommendations about how to structure and write their applications for quality labels for food and agricultural products.


Download data is not yet available.


Altheide DL, 1996. Qualitative media analysis. Sage Publ, Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi. 87 pp.

Aprile MC, Caputo V, Nayga RM, 2012. Consumers' valuation of food quality labels: The case of the European geographic indication and organic farming labels. Int J Consum Stud 36 (2): 158-165.

Balogh P, Békési D, Gorton M, Popp J, Lengyel P, 2016. Consumer willingness to pay for traditional food products. Food Policy 61: 176-184.

Bardají I, Iráizoz B, Rapún M, 2009a. Protected geographical indications and integration into the agribusiness system. Agribusiness 25 (2): 198-214.

Bardají I, Iráizoz B, Rapún M, 2009b. The effectiveness of the European agricultural quality policy: A price analysis. Span J Agric Res 7 (4): 750-758.

Bardone E, Spalvēna A, 2019. European Union food quality schemes and the transformation of traditional foods into European products in Latvia and Estonia. Appetite 135 (1): 43-53.

Belletti G, Marescotti A, Touzard, JM, 2017. Geographical indications, public goods, and sustainable development: The roles of actors' strategies and public policies. World Dev 98: 45-57.

Billig M, 1995. Banal nationalism. Sage: London, Thousand Oaks, NY, 208 pp.

Bowen S, 2010. Embedding local places in global spaces: Geographical indications as a territorial development strategy. Rural Sociol 75 (2): 209-243.

Bowen S, Zapata AV, 2009. Geographical indications, terroir, and socioeconomic and ecological sustainability: The case of tequila. J Rural Stud 25 (1): 108-119.

Bowen S, De Master K, 2011. New rural livelihoods or museums of production? Quality food initiatives in practice. J Rural Stud 27 (1): 73-82.

Calboli I, 2015. Geographical indications of origin at the crossroads of local development, consumer protection and marketing strategies. Int Rev of Intellect Prop Compet Law 46 (7): 760-780.

Cohen J, 1960. A coefficient of agreement for nominal scales. Educ Psychol Meas 20 (1): 37-46.

Conneely R, Mahon M, 2015. Protected geographical indications: Institutional roles in food systems governance and rural development. Geoforum 60: 14-21.

Czarniawska B, 1998. A narrative approach to organization studies. Sage: Thousand Oaks, London, New Delhi. 96 pp.

De Roest K, Menghi A, 2000. Reconsidering "traditional" food: The case of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Sociol Ruralis 40 (4): 439-451.

Dias C, Mendes L, 2018. Protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSG): A bibiliometric analysis. Food Res Int 103: 492-508.

Duvaleix-Treguer S, Emlinger C, Gaigné C, Latouche K, 2015. Quality and export performance: Evidence from cheese industry. 145th Sem of the Eur Assoc of Agric Econ. Parma, Italy, Apr 14-15.

EC, 2002. Commission launches website on applications to register EU quality products. Press Release. European Commission, Aug 27.

EC, 2012. Guide to applicants how to compile the single document.

EC, 2014. Regulation No 668/2014 laying down rules for the application of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. OJEU, L179, L179/36-61.

EC, 2019. Quality schemes explained | European Commission.

EC, 2020. Registration of the name of a quality product.

European Parliament and Council of the EU, 2006. Regulation (EC) No 509/2006 of 20 March 2006 on agricultural products and foodstuffs as traditional specialities guaranteed. OJEU, L23/1-11.

European Parliament and Council of the EU, 2012. Regulation (EU) 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of November 2012 on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs. OJEU, L343, L343/1-29.

EU, 2017. EU Quality policy. DG Agriculture and Rural Development, Unit Farm Economics. Brussels.

EUIPO, 2017. Protection and control of geographical indications for agricultural products in the EU member states. European Union Intellectual Property Office, Alicante.

Fandos-Herrera C, 2016. Exploring the mediating role of trust in food products with protected designation of origin. The case of 'Jamón de Teruel'. Span J Agric Res 14 (1): e0102.

Gangjee DS, 2012. Geographical indications and cultural heritage. The WIPO Journal 4 (1): 92-102.

Gangjee DS, 2017. Proving provenance? Geographical indications certification and its ambiguities. World Dev 98: 12-24.

Gaspar P, Escribano AJ, Mesías FJ, Escribano M, Pulido AF, 2011. Goat systems of Villuercas-Ibores area in SW Spain: Problems and perspectives of traditional farming systems. Small Rumin Res 97 (1-3): 1-11.

Grunert KG, Aachmann K, 2016. Consumer reactions to the use of EU quality labels on food products: A review of the literature. Food Control 59: 178-187.

Hajdukiewicz A, 2014. European Union agri-food quality schemes for the protection and promotion of geographical indications and traditional specialities : An economic perspective. Folia Hortic 26 (1): 3-17.

Hughes J, 2006. Champagne, Feta, and Bourbon: The spirited debate about geographical indications. Hastings Law J 58 (1): 299-386.

INAO, 2017. Guide du demandeur d'une appellatino d'origine protégée (AOP) ou d'une indication géographique protégée (IGP) a l'exception des vins, boissons alcoolisées et boissons spiritueuses. Institut National de l'Origine et de la Qualité, France.

Lima MD, Souza C, Luiz J, 2016. Implications of geographical indications: A comprehensive review of papers listed in CAPES' journal database. Revista de Administração e Inovação 13 (4): 315-329.

Marescotti A, Belletti G, 2016. Differentiation strategies in coffee global value chains through reference to territorial origin in Latin American countries. Cult Hist Dig J 5 (1): 1-10.

Ma S, Sidali KL, Spiller A, Tschofen B (eds), 2017. Taste | Power | Tradition geographical indications as cultural property. Göttingen Studies in Cultural Property 10. Universitätsverlag Göttingen, Germany. 132 pp.

Menapace L, Colson G, Grebitus C, Facendola M, 2011. Consumers' preferences for geographical origin labels: Evidence from the Canadian olive oil market. Eur Rev Agric Econ 38 (2): 193-212.

Raimondi V, Falco C, Curzi D, Olper A, 2019. Trade effects of geographical indication policy: The EU case. J Agri Econ 71 (2): 330-356.

Raustiala K, Munzer SR, 2007. The global struggle over geographic indications. Eur J Int Law 18 (2): 337-365.

Sepúlveda WS, Maza MT, Mantecón ÁR, 2010. Factors associated with the purchase of designation of origin lamb meat. Meat Sci 85 (1): 167-173.

Verbeke W, Pieniak Z, Guerrero L, Hersleth M, 2012. Consumers' awareness and attitudinal determinants of European Union quality label use on traditional foods. Bio-Based Appl Econ 1 (2): 213-229.

How to Cite
Castelló, E. (2020). Storytelling in applications for the EU quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs: place, origin and tradition. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 18(2), e0105.
Agricultural economics