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Geographic Indications and Farmer-Owned Brands: Why Do the U.S. And E.U. Disagree?

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Author Info

  • Hayes, Dermot J.
  • Lence, Sergio H.
  • Babcock, Bruce A.

Abstract

Geographic Indications (GIs) identify the geographic origin of products whose quality, reputation or other characteristic can be attributed to the geographic origin. We focus on a subcategory of GIs, Farmer Owned Brands. Like GIs in general, FOBs require governmental assistance to protect the property rights of the brand owners. GIs are receiving increased attention because many countries and producer groups realize the importance of property right protection for GIs, and are negotiating such rights in international forums like the World Trade Organization. Here we explore possible reasons for US opposition to EU policies conferring special property right protection to GIs. We conclude that the most plausible explanation for the US position is the lack of a domestic constituency advocating greater GI protection, which means that the US position represents the interests only of those who stand to lose from such protection. It will take a change in US property right regulations and a widespread understanding and adoption of the concept among producer groups before the political pendulum changes within the US. This process will take several years and until then we will have the unusual situation of the US opposing the only market-based solution to the US rural development problem that we are aware of.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12418.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2005
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Publication status: Published in EuroChoices, August 2005, vol. 4 no. 2, pp. 28-35
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12418

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Cited by:
  1. Brian Innes & John Cranfield, 2009. "Consumer preference for production-derived quality: analyzing perceptions of premium chicken production methods," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 395-411.
  2. Marchesini, Sergio & Hasimu, Huliyeti & Regazzi, Domenico, 2007. "Literature review on the perception of agro-foods quality cues in the international environment," 105th Seminar, March 8-10, 2007, Bologna, Italy 7892, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  3. Alexander E. Saak, 2011. "A Model of Labeling with Horizontal Differentiation and Cost Variability," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1131-1150.
  4. Langinier Corinne & Babcock Bruce A., 2008. "Agricultural Production Clubs: Viability and Welfare Implications," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, December.
  5. Stephan Marette & Roxanne Clemens & Bruce Babcock, 2008. "Recent international and regulatory decisions about geographical indications," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(4), pages 453-472.

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