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How do Different Countries use PDO/GI Standards: A Case Study Comparing Wisconsin Cheddar to Parmesan-Reggiano


  • House, Lisa
  • Patel, Payal
  • Thomas, Spreen


Protected Geographic Indicators (PGI) and Product Differentiation of Origination (PDO) are products that are linked to certain regions or countries that define them based on where they are produced, prepared and/or packaged before they are sold. However, the exact interpretation of PGI/PDOs is not synonymous around the world, leading to disputes over trade barriers between nations. The goal of this paper is to discuss the quality and safety control issues that go into the production of PGI/PDOs as well as trade regulations that are currently being discussed at the World Trade Organization’s Doha multilateral trade agreements meetings. A comparison of how countries mark PGI/PDO products is made by comparing two cheese industries: Wisconsin Cheddar from the United States and Parmigiano Reggiano from Italy. In theory, the World Trade Organization has a product labeling agreement that was created in 1979 under the Uruguay Round of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. However, as is most common, problems arise when countries begin to use their own forms of labeling, therefore resulting in barriers of trade between countries (WTO). Due to diverse thought among producers in different countries, there are often incentives that lead to different product labeling.

Suggested Citation

  • House, Lisa & Patel, Payal & Thomas, Spreen, 2009. "How do Different Countries use PDO/GI Standards: A Case Study Comparing Wisconsin Cheddar to Parmesan-Reggiano," 2009 International European Forum, February 15-20, 2009, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 59176, International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:iefi09:59176

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bruce A. Babcock & Roxanne Clemens, 2004. "Geographical Indications and Property Rights: Protecting Value-Added Agricultural Products," Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) Publications 04-mbp7, Midwest Agribusiness Trade Research and Information Center (MATRIC) at Iowa State University.
    2. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Haas, Rainer & Sterns, James & Meixner, Oliver, 2013. "US Consumers’ Perception of Local and Organic Food: An Analysis Based on Means-End Chain Analysis and Word Association," 2013 International European Forum, February 18-22, 2013, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 164759, International European Forum on System Dynamics and Innovation in Food Networks.


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