Economy of typical food: technical restrictions and organizative challenges
AbstractThe economic analysis of typical agri-food products requires to be focused on the following issues: i) the specific features of the offering system; ii) the technical restrictions established by the EU regulations on Protected designation of origin (Pdo and Pgi) and, iii) the strategies aimed at product differentiation and for value creation for the consumer. Considering this latest aspect, it is important to notice that the specificity of the agricultural raw materials, the use of traditional production techniques of production coming from the tradition of the place and certification represent only a prerequisite for the differentiation of the product on the market against standard products. The problem is that the specificity of local product comes from attributes (tangible and intangible) of quality which are not directly accessible, nor verifiable, by the consumer when he/she makes purchasing choices. This situation persists despite the greater propensity of modern consumer to make investments in information and his/her greater attention and larger background towards the acknowledgement of different offers based on quality. This paper tends to develop an analysis on a theoretical and operative basis upon open strategies that can be implemented at the enterprise level, and that of agro-food chain and of territorial system in order to promote the quality of products to consumers. In particular, the work addresses the problems connected to the establishment of competitive advantages for Protected Designation of Origin (Pdo) and Protected Geographical Indication (Pgi), highlighting that in order to achieve those advantages, firms offering typical products need to differentiate their offering on both material and immaterial ground acting on intrinsic and extrinsic attributes of quality of products, on specific features (natural, historical, cultural, etc.) of territorial, on the efficiency of the offering organizational structure, and finally on the presence of social and institutional specific networks. All these aspects point out the necessity of defining appropriate value strategies based on marketing principles which allow to translate the typicality of products into additional value for the consumer in order to enable the producers to acquire a premium price.
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