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What is the value of authenticity? An analysis of GI brands in Spain

Following the launch of Brand Dialogue Spain, Cristina Campos, Managing Director elaborates on the authenticity and value of brands with Geographical Indications (GIs), in both Spain and abroad.

Spanish Geographical Indication products (GIs) reflect the richness and diversity of products offered by our agricultural sector, with the benefits reaped by both producers and consumers. The former can sell their products at a higher price, while the latter gains a guarantee that they are purchasing high quality, regional products. GIs are therefore a key aspect of our trade agreements and our economy.

Protecting our products worldwide avoids the fraudulent use of their denominations and maintains the positive reputation of our nation's agri-food products and beverages. Geographical Indications protect the local value and carry the Spanish Nation Brand worldwide.

Food brands with a GI status are a guarantee of safety, nutrition, and high quality. The traditional production methods used also contribute to the EU's goal of becoming a global benchmark of sustainable food production. Factors such as the products’ premium quality and positive reputation, and consumers’ willingness to pay slightly higher prices for GI brands, are key to their commercialisation and increase sales volumes, and represent a clear economic benefit for producers.

GI brands are exponents of the traditional culinary heritage of our regions and an economic engine for the national agri-food sector. During periods of economic uncertainty – such as the crisis we are currently experiencing due to the Covid-19 pandemic – the popularity of GIs is also a sign of the affection, support, and desire for recovery that Spaniards have towards our nation brand.

While products linked to their areas of origin generally represent a higher quality and authenticity, brands within this category are covered by different certifications, including the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI). While these certifications are guarantees that the brands are manufactured in their area of origin using artisan methods, PDOs and PGIs mainly differ in the percentage of raw material that comes from the area or in the phases of the production process that must be carried out in their areas.

Generally, agri-food products, wines, and some spirits are covered by the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) marks. On the other hand, the Guaranteed Traditional Specialties (TSG) mark highlights aspects related to tradition, history, production methods, and composition, without the need to be linked to a specific geographical area. Brands with this mark are not necessarily directly linked to a region or country but are still produced using traditional methods.

In our globalised market, consumers are increasingly interested in the production and quality of the products they use, meaning that one of the main weapons of differentiation when it comes to branding and positioning of GI brands, is their authenticity and production methods.

In Spain, we already have 400 protected, quality products which reflect the gastronomic wealth of the country. It is now more important than ever to support our GI brands and products with certifications for the recovery of our economy and to support our local communities.

With over 20 years’ experience in promoting GI brands, Brand Dialogue has represented clients such as Parmigiano Reggiano (PDO), Picota del Jerte (PDO), Aceto Balsamico di Modena Tradizionale (PDO), Gorgonzola cheese (PDO), Mozzarella di Bufala (PDO), and Prosciutto di Parma (PDO).

If you would like to find out more about our services, please get in touch with:

Cristina Campos Managing Director, Brand Dialogue Spain

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