Understanding Geographical Indications

Understanding Geographical Indications
Geographical Indications workshop, Berlin, September 2018

News & events

Geographical Indications academic workshop, Berlin, 4 September 2018
A Geographical Indications workshop took place in Berlin on 4 September 2018. The workshop was led by Adjunct Associate Professor Hazel Moir, GI Visiting Fellow Dr Áron Török, and Associate and PhD student Wenting Cheng, and featured guest speaker Dr Andrea Zappalaglio. The event focused on priorities for policy-oriented research, bringing leading GI researchers together to assess the state of GI knowledge. By including policymakers and policy advisors in this workshop, research results were scrutinised for policy relevance. The workshop helped to identify the priority issues where policymakers are in need of better information and evidence. For more information, see the event flyer at the bottom of this page.

Jean Monnet Geographical Indications Briefing Paper - This  paper by Áron Török and Hazel Moir was published in July 2018 as part of the ANU Centre for European Studies Briefing Paper series.

ANU Centre for European Studies newsletter, July 2018 - Find out more about recent activities of the Centre for European Studies in our newsletter, and follow us on FacebookTwitter and Soundcloud

‘Understanding Geographical Indications: What is the Evidence?’ policy forum, Canberra, 21 June 2018
As part of the GI project, ANUCES has undertaken an extensive review of the available empirical evidence about the economic impact of GI labelling. This policy forum presented the evidence and drew out the main policy and trade negotiation implications. It identified the major areas where there is a lack of knowledge, so that future policy–oriented research can be well directed. ANUCES has also been investigating the use of GIs in North–East Asia. A number of countries in this region appear to have a terroir concept similar to that in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Preliminary results of this research, focusing on the history of regional speciality tributes in China, was presented at the policy forum, featuring special guest Professor Filippo Arfini from the Department of Economics at the University of Parma, Italy, and Deputy of the H2020 Strength2Food Project. ANUCES participants included Associate Director Dr Annmarie Elijah, Adjunct Associate Professor Hazel Moir, GI Visiting Fellow Dr Áron Török, and Associate and PhD student Wenting Cheng.
Listen to the audio recording on ANU Soundcloud

‘Understanding Geographical Indications’ workshop, Canberra, Canberra, 19–20 June 2018
This invitation–only workshop reviewed empirical evidence, identifed policy implications and developed a priority agenda for further research into GI. Participants included those who have undertaken empirical work on GI, policymakers addressing rural development or food labelling issues, and a several lawyers who have worked on GI issues. Discussion referred to a Background Brief prepared by ANUCES GI Visiting Fellow Dr Áron Török that reviews the existing empirical literature. Sessions focused on critical issues such as the size of the GI market and the GI food chain and distance to market. The event asked questions such as: Is there an increase in net producer income from GI labelling? What is the impact of GI labelling on rural and regional productivity? Can GI labelling create positive impacts for relatively unknown products? ANUCES presenters were Adjunct Associate Professor Hazel Moir and GI Visiting Fellow Dr Áron Török. The workshop was immediately followed by a broader policy forum on 21 June (see above).

Dr Áron Török presents research findings to the National Farmers’ Federation in Canberra, 5 April 2018
Dr Áron Török, an Assistant Professor at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary was appointed as a GI Visiting Fellow. Áron holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics. He has expertise in food quality schemes and agricultural trade, and his research interests span Geographical Indications and Short Food Supply Chains. Áron presented preliminary findings of the GI project to the Trade Policy Committee of the National Farmers’ Federation on 5 April. The Centre is delighted to have Áron on board.

Geographical Indications panel discussion, Canberra, 7 March 2018
This well–attended panel discussion on Geographical Indications took place with presenters ANUCES Adjunct Associate Professor Hazel Moir, Chief Agricultural Trade Negotiator for the EU–Australia Free Trade Agreement John Clarke, Bond University’s Professor William Van Caenegem, and Dairy Australia’s Charles McElhone. The 90 attendees spanned government, industry, academia and the diplomatic community, including representatives from IP Australia, the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, ANU, and the Embassies of Greece, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Slovak Republic, France, Germany and Norway.
Listen to the audio recording on ANU Soundcloud

About the Geographical Indications project

Summary of the proposal: This ANU Centre for European Studies (ANUCES) GI Project, funded by an EU Jean Monnet grant, aims to identify the evidence base underlying policies on geographical indications (GIs) thus contributing to more effective negotiations between the European Union and Australia/New Zealand in the proposed comprehensive trade agreement.

Background and Rationale: The GI Project addresses a clear need. At present there is a gulf between the Australian approach to geographical indications and the European approach. To date there has been little attempt to narrow this gap, with much of the debate taking place on ideological grounds. However now that the EU’s policy on geographical indications has been in place for 25 years, there are some data to allow a clear empirical investigation of when, where and how GIs contribute to the prosperity of producers and rural and regional areas. A broader appreciation of this evidence will be an important contribution to facilitating more productive approaches to negotiating the GI content of the proposed comprehensive trade agreement between the EU and Australia/New Zealand. By convening an Academic Workshop to assess the range of empirical evidence on GIs, the project will create useful material to feed into the proposed Forum for policymakers and trade negotiators.

Objectives: ANUCES is a leading source of EU knowledge in Australia. Through earlier work in association with the Europe Australia Business Council, ANUCES has developed considerable knowledge in the field of geographical indications. This project aims to update and strategically assess the compiled evidence on the practical impacts of GIs. It will thus:

  1. provide readily available materials on when, where and how GIs are most effective in achieving their agricultural policy objectives;
  2. present this evidence in a clear and accessible format to policymakers and trade negotiators; and
  3. spread the dissemination of this evidence through European networks, focusing on identifying key gaps in current knowledge

Main Outputs: The Project’s main outputs will be:

  • a Background Paper collating and assessing existing knowledge on GIs;
  • an Academic Workshop in Canberra, with participation from academics from a range of disciplines and of policymakers from agriculture departments;
  • a Policy Forum in Canberra directed to disseminating the workshop results to a broader range of policymakers and trade negotiators;
  • an ANUCES website for dissemination and information sharing; and
  • an Academic Workshop in Berlin directed to setting forth an agenda for priority research necessary to increase the effectiveness of geographical indications policy. 


The Understanding GIs Project will result in a far better documented and nuanced understanding of the economic impacts of GI policy. It will create an impetus for more focused and better targeted future research in this area. It will provide policymakers with a soundly-based understanding of when, where and how geographical indications can promote farmer prosperity and, more broadly, rural and regional prosperity. Finally, it will create a common understanding of GI impacts to support more productive trade negotiations.

In terms of specific content, the Project aims to:

  • update previous compilations of knowledge about GIs (latest existing is 2011);
  • identify key researchers working on GI impacts;
  • create accessible and user-friendly evidence-based GI information for policy makers and trade negotiators;
  • increase the mutual understanding of trade negotiators as regards the practical uses of GIs; and
  • expand the range of academic effort on GIs by providing a clear set of priorities for future policy-oriented research. 


The GI Project will bring together the academic community undertaking empirical work on GIs. This community is currently widely dispersed with scholars coming from many different disciplinary backgrounds. The Academic Workshop will target academics who have or are about to undertake empirical research related to GIs and their impact. By including policy-makers in the assessment and evaluation of existing knowledge it will enhance the ability of academics to focus their work to maximise its relevance to policy-makers. The GI Project will support dissemination of knowledge about the impact of GIs among policymakers not usually exposed to the empirical evidence on the impact of GIs. The Project will create an impetus within the academic community to fill in the key knowledge gaps needed to improve the effectiveness of GI policy.

Much of the current academic literature on GIs is theoretical or conceptual. This is of little help to trade policy negotiators as such work simply paints negotiators into “New World” or “Old World” corners. There is, however, scattered empirical research and there is a strong need to gather and review this evidence. The project will identify and analyse these studies to help identify the main gaps in the knowledge that policymakers need. The generation of a priority list of needed research on GIs will help to ensure that future research efforts are well targeted.

For further information contact the Project Manager, Adjunct Associate Professor Hazel Moir: hazel.moir@anu.edu.au

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Updated:  25 September 2018/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CASS Marketing & Communications