GIs related products trade plays a role in economic policies of countries at worldwide level: on the one hand, consumers show an increasing interest in origin based products and, on the other hand, production and trade of GI products have an impact on socio-economic and environmental sustainability of marginalised areas.
In 1992, Reg. (EEC) 2081/92 established the European policy on GI. After various amendments and modifications, this was replaced by Reg. (EU) 1151/2012, which today regulates quality regimes for more than 1200 agricultural and food GI products different from wines at EU level.
At the global level, many EU producers exporting to US blame unfair competition from US food companies for abusing GI names in trade practice; meanwhile, US companies claim their right to use GIs in the framework of the trademark law.
There is a wide literature and much academic discussion in the topics of GIs. Three EAAE Seminars have been organized in the past – Parma (1997), Le Mans (2000) and Parma (2010) - on GIs, focusing on supply chains organisations, consumer information, IPR aspects, rural and local development, and food safety. Nowadays, the GIs become crucial in the political agenda of the EU and US but also for many other WTO member countries.