Geographic Indicators and Rural Communities

Geographic Indicators (GIs) are used to link food products with a particular region and form of production. Their use can be seen as an attempt to retain the territorial elements of food–the connection between products and a particular regional ecology or set of social and cultural relationships. They have also been associated with positive regional development outcomes, generated through things like higher and steadier prices for producers, collaboration among producers, and food tourism. GIs are now a key pillar of the European Commission’s (EC) rural development strategy. Yet, uptake of GI registrations is highly uneven, with some Southern European countries touting hundreds of registered products and others, very few. In this exploratory project, we are focusing on countries that have a marginal or unusual style of uptake of GIs to better understand the location-specific factors that influence their use and success in supporting regional development. We are also looking at what other kinds of territorialization people use to support local food networks instead of GIs and why. 


Mark Vicol, Assistant Professor, Rural Sociology Group, (profile link)

Katharine Legun, Assistant Professor, Communication, Philosophy, and Technology (profile link)

Mary Greene, Assistant Professor, Environmental Policy (profile link)

Oscar Bradley, Master’s Student, local food strategies and grassroots alternatives to the GI scheme in the Burren, Co. Clare.

Olwyn Fitzgerald, Master’s Student, “A critical evaluation of the EU geographical indications policy quality scheme: A case study in the Munster region on the perceptions of the quality scheme amongst registered GI food product producers.”  

Abigail Fagbohun, Master’s Student, “Stakeholders perception of Ofada Rice as a potential GI product for rural development”