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Strengthening International Research on Geographical Indications: from research foundation to consistent policy

Final Report Summary - SINER-GI (Strengthening international research on geographical indications: from research foundation to consistent policy)

The ultimate aim of the SINER-GI project was to raise awareness among practitioners, policymakers and academics of the effects of geographical indications (GIs) for agricultural products in order to support their legitimacy in the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations. The scientific objectives of the project were to:
- gather up-to-date systematic knowledge on GI legal protection systems, socio-economic aspects, institutional arrangements and levels of protection of GIs for agricultural products currently used throughout the world, and to systematise and analyse their pros and cons;
- understand the effects of different kinds and levels of protection of GIs on economic, social, environmental, cultural and ethical dimensions;
- design a common analytical framework to analyse, assess and monitor the effectiveness of GIs, considering the different economic, environmental, and social effects of the most relevant types of institutional frameworks;
- design and implement a common monitoring and assessment tool for analysing the conditions of success of GIs, supported by case-studies and practical examples;
- provide relevant information and recommendations to policy-makers on whether and how to support GIs through a network of researchers, exchanges of information on research results and meetings.

In order to reach these objectives, the following steps were followed:
- development of a theoretical model for monitoring and measuring the impact of GIs as well as for evaluating their conditions of success;
- establishment of a common reference methodology for analysing case studies;
- elaborate scenarios to devise strategies and public policy recommendations;
- communicate the results and disseminate the information.

The SINER-GI project relied on monographic work studies to compare national protection schemes, and studies on products and value chains to compare production systems and collective strategies. This work aimed to provide a better understanding of the specific mechanisms regulating GI systems (in particular by elaborating typologies), and to develop indicators of success for these systems and impact indicators with respect of sustainable development principles. Following the SINER-GI project results, three research tracks and topics can be considered:
- new research specifically devoted to the management of GI;
- the dissemination of various assurance schemes (including national and European quality signs) within various food industries and rural spaces and the impact of their implementation on rural development indicators;
- the role and share of various assurance quality schemes in the international food trade and particularly, in European import, export, and local trade.