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Abstract

The EU policy on voluntary food labeling emphasizes the geographical origin of the products. Specialty products from a given area (e.g., wine) benefit from a reputation premium that is well-identified by consumers. Public authorities allow exclusive use of the appellation to a group of producers in exchange for commitments on production techniques, certification and control, and obligation of a collective use of the name. In spite of many successful aspects, the future of this policy is uncertain in a globalized environment. Caveats in the regulation (moral hazard, bureaucracy), lack of international readability of the labels, and competition from registered brand names are the main limitations of the EU policy.

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