Innovation in Origin-Protected Localized Agri-Food Systems: Are Individual Initiatives Always to Blame? Case Studies in Mongolia and Peru

Par Stéphane Fournier, Blandine Arvis, Fanny Michaud

On a theoretical basis, innovation processes in Localized Agri-Food Systems (LAFS) and potentially associated Geographical Indications (GI) are perceived as necessarily collective. Recent literature on innovation systems has pushed the actors involved in the development of these local systems increasingly towards cooperation between actors. Individual initiatives are perceived as attempts to appropriate collective action and are pursued. The trajectory of two GI-protected LAFS, Villa Rica coffee in Peru and Uvs sea-buckthorn in Mongolia, leads to a re-examination of the nature of ongoing innovation processes. While they have benefited from a territorial embeddedness, individual initiatives have prevailed over collective dynamics at different times in their history. Some of them had predatory aims, but others finally allowed the maintenance or even the development of common resources. We conclude on the need to reconsider the role of individual actors in territorialized innovation systems.
JEL Codes: O31, Q16, B52, R58

  • Local Agri-Food System
  • Geographical Indication
  • Innovation
  • Collective Action
  • Peru
  • Mongolia.
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