Quality linked to geographical origin: product, territory and know-how

Some agricultural and food products are distinguished from one another by certain characteristics, qualities or reputations resulting essentially from their geographical origin. This differentiation can be attributed to the unique local features of the product, its history or its distinctive character linked to natural or human factors such as soil, climate, local know-how and traditions (all covered by the term "terroir").

This specific quality can be promoted with a designation or “label” referring to the origin – the geographical indication (GI). The relevant procedure is based on voluntary action by producers to define the associated characteristics collectively and produce the product in accordance with these specifications.

FAO is therefore implementing a programme to support the development of procedures focusing on origin-linked specific quality that will contribute to rural development.

These products of origin-linked quality can increase food security, inasmuch as they contribute to rural development and the preservation of food diversity, while also offering consumers a wider choice. Indeed, thanks to the link between such products and their areas of origin, they can help to preserve local resources, maintain traditions, strengthen the organization of local stakeholders and prevent delocalization and the rural exodus.