Provenance for Whom? A Comparative Analysis of Geographical Indications in the EU and Indonesia

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 18:10
Oral Presentation
Cinzia PIATTI, Universität Hohenheim, Germany
Angga DWIARTAMA, School of Life Sciences and technology -Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia
Current debates over Geographical Indications (GIs) revolve around old/new world (more than developed/developing countries) models for protecting and promoting domestic food production within the political, cultural or economic interest of the country of origin. Despite an agreement to attach value to place-based production, new world-model advocates currently contest the validity and practicality of the EU model of GIs. In the literature, the debate revolves around differences in legislation, but neglecting three dimensions belonging to GIs: (1) sociocultural dynamics (since the role of actors in creating -or maintaining- a GI goes well beyond the legal inception), (2) power relations, which implies a power differential between actors at both intra- and inter- levels of analysis (and which may lead to the reconstructing of geopolitical paradigms); and (3) the materiality embedded in the local ecology.

This paper proposes this three-dimensional analysis to make a comparison between established and emerging GIs systems, using the EU and Indonesian cases respectively. The EU, a conglomerate of states, established the original model of place-based recognition with a rich variety of products. Indonesia, a singular nation state and world’s fourth most populous country, has recently seen an upsurge in the interest over GIs, with a single item (coffee) claiming many of the awarded protection. The former relies on multiple-niche production and a structured legal, bureaucratic and cultural apparatus that ensure GIs procedures; the latter has so far relied on mass commodities and domestic market creations, but is still developing the necessary organization. This framework therefore offers ways to deeply understand the socio-cultural constructions of GIs in each region, the way power is exerted along the process, and the different ecological realities that shape the materiality of their GIs. We then acknowledge the nuanced way in which GIs are enacted, along with some of its political implications.