21/09/2022- The FAO-oriGIn support to GI organizations to respond to the emerging sustainability challenges through a participatory approach

Final sustainability logoThe collaboration between the FAO and oriGIn, aimed at helping GI organizations to respond to the emerging sustainability challenges through a participatory approach, continued in the biennium 2021-2022.

In this framework, the Sustainability Strategy for GIs (SSGI), previously developed in the framework of this partnership and tested with the coffee producers of Marcala (Honduras), has been further developed, including its set of guidelines and toolkits to be used by groups to come up with their sustainability priorities, relevant to their own product and context, and assess their current sustainability performance. Pilots of such tools were used by the producers of the GI “Queso Paipa” in Colombia, a cheese produced in an area north of Bogota, which helped this GI group determine their priorities and select appropriate indicators for monitoring progress.

One of the main achievements of the biennium has been the finalization of a database of 437 robust sustainability indicators that are relevant to GIs (it was reviewed by experts in different continents). This sustainability indicator compilation benefit from well-recognized sources in the sustainability field and completed with additional indicators. The database was adapted to a GI context, providing a set of collective governance performance indicators as well as links to different frameworks used by sustainability practitioners. In addition, the database allows the categorization of indicators by a number of attributes, helping users to select those indicators most appropriate to their product and context. GI associations will have a tool in their hand to produce their own sustainability assessment and communicate on their progress.

The above-mentioned guidelines and database have been also used by the producers of two cocoa regions in Colombia: “Orinoquia” and “Santander”, which are working towards GI recognition. Similarly, to the Queso Paipa example, the SSGI methodology helped arrive at consensus on priorities for larger producer groups in order to build improvement plans on priorities felt not only by large industry actors and clients, but also by producers in the territory.

Through this partnership, the FAO-oriGIn methodology and tools to support GI groups embarking on sustainability through a bottom-up approach ensuring producers remain at the heart of the exercise, have been consolidated and are now ready to be applied in multiple locations around the world.

For more information on GIs and sustainability and oriGIn related activities, please consult the dedicated page of our website.

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