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This paper provides an overview of a FAIR research project into the specific conditions and institutional requirements for the development of PDO and PG/ products (Protected Designation of Origin and Protected Geographical Indication). The research project is to be completed in 1999 and it is hoped that the assessments and recommendations made will help in harmonising the implementation of European Council Regulation (EEC) No 2081/92. Twenty-one supply chains in seven countries are analysed (France, Italy, Greece, Netherlands, UK, Spain and Switzerland). The primary factor in success is the capacity of a set of firms in a supply chain based in a particular area to effectively coordinate such matters as the identification of joint objectives, definition and control of quality, variety management, image promotion, and research & development. Market characteristics are secondary factors in success. Following Bouquin (1986) we draw a distinction between effectiveness and efficiency. Emphasising the crucial step of goal setting (effectiveness) may highlight the relevance of internal resources and competencies of a set of firms, according to Teece (1981). This explains why the set of firms manages not only to react to their environment but also to influence it. This approach is consistent with a number of rationality and organisation models proposed by Simon (1976). This kind of transition from individual to collective forms of management shows a possible link between an approach in terms of hybrid forms (efficiency) and an approach in terms of core competence (effectiveness). We end with an evaluation of Reg. (EEC) 2081/92 and highlight a number of problems with its implementation.


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