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Mapping Online Geographical Indication: Agrifood Products on E-Commerce Shelves of Mercosur and the European Union

Guilherme Silva Fracarolli ()
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Guilherme Silva Fracarolli: SOCIUS—Research Centre in Economic and Organizational Sociology, ISEG—School of Economics and Management, University of Lisbon, 1249-078 Lisbon, Portugal

Economies, 2021, vol. 9, issue 2, 1-20

Abstract: The agrifood products market has never before contained as many niches than it does at this moment in history. The use of geographical indication (GIs) is one of the oldest ways of granting protection for and promoting these goods. Although they date back thousands of years, only since the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) agreement has there been a common understanding in regard to their use. Although the GI system has the same structure globally, each region shows different performance. Therefore, the influence of institutions in this market is still an enigma to be explored. In this work, we sought to compare the performance of Mercosur and the European Union in relation to GI products and categories in this exchange arena by analyzing e-retail supermarkets. To do so, we collected data from 44 online supermarkets from both economic blocs and analyzed the relevant attributes of the products offered. Then, we compared both blocs through the use of graphics and economic sociology tools. We present novel results relating to differences in GI performance, discuss the reasons for such differences and examine the construction of the market. Our results show that the EU had significantly more products than Mercosur and had a wider variety of GI products on e-retail shelves. Moreover, in the EU, the advertised products originated mainly from within the economic bloc, whereas the majority of GI products advertised in Mercosur originated primarily from abroad. This difference indicates to dominance of the EU’ systems, demonstrating that its institutions are effective in terms of trade and commerce development mechanisms. However, in both blocs, a restricted number of categories and registers were found.

Keywords: economic sociology; geographical indication; European Union; Mercosur; market arena; e-retail; comparative approach (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E F I J O Q (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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