This study analyses a localised agro-food system producing Queso Chontaleño (QC) cheese in the Chontales Department in Nicaragua and the first effects of the Geographical Indication (GI) scheme which alters the power relations between the actors of the cheese-dairy sector within the framework of global dynamics. The first part focuses on systèmes agro-alimentaires localisés (SYAL), or localised agro-food systems, and it provides the theoretical background to the case study. The second part analyses the QC SYAL and its territorial and institutional context. It is found that GI introduces new competitive pressures that reinforce local elites at the expense of traditional QC actors and that the weak involvement of the State may prevent GIs from enhancing the development of territorialised agro-food systems. The conclusion is a recommendation to EU policymakers that promotion of GIs at the level of the WTO be accompanied by measures that can ensure stricter national legislations on GIs to protect local resources.
Created 11.01.13 Updated 11.01.13