Tobias heifer workshop_110824_eng


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Tobias heifer workshop_110824_eng

  1. 1. Lessons learned from the protection of Gruyère cheese (Switzerland) Tobias Eisenring Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) Kyiv, August 27, 2011
  2. 2. Swiss PDOs and PGIs
  3. 3. ‘ Le Gruyère’ - a very old product ! <ul><li>First historical reference: 13th century </li></ul><ul><li>Major source of income for the production region since the 17th century (mainly for export) </li></ul><ul><li>Early professional organizational structures </li></ul><ul><li>Since 20th century: strong involvement of the Swiss Government in the promotion of Gruyère (protectionism) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Important changes in the 1990s <ul><li>GATT / TRIPS 1989-94: national support and protection for Swiss quality cheese is reduced and stopped. </li></ul><ul><li>Increased international demand for quality cheese. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance of relevant Gruyère imitations originating from different countries (lower quality and lower cost). </li></ul><ul><li>Increased interest to improve cooperation along the value chain (strengthening of vertical integration). </li></ul><ul><li>Claim for a PDO to better position and promote “real” Gruyère cheese in the international market. </li></ul><ul><li>Development of the “Gruyère Declaration”. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Gruyère ‘Declaration’ (1992) <ul><li>Shared specifications among different value chain actors in respect to technical processing procedures and the production area of Gruyère cheese in Switzerland. </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation of a local-based governance structure involving 95% of stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>But: “Outsiders” can still produce Gruyère cheese not respecting these specifications (no intellectual property) </li></ul>Need for a strong professional organisation enforcing the declaration and promoting Gruyère cheese from the specified region.
  6. 6. Gruyère Association (1997) Board (13 members): 4 milk producers + 4 cheese makers + 4 cheese refiners + 1 president Assembly of Delegates (50 members): 20 milk producers + 20 cheese makers + 10 cheese refiners Directorate: Director and hired staff (specialists, administration) 2’300 milk producers, 176 cheese makers, 52 mountain cheese makers, 9 cheese refineries
  7. 7. Tasks of the Directorate <ul><li>Market transparency – Notification of quantities, sales agreement, casein mark. </li></ul><ul><li>Sales promotion – Basic marketing, advertising, attendance at trade fairs. </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancement of quality – Control of production, price assessment, correct branding and labelling. </li></ul><ul><li>Lobbying </li></ul>
  8. 8. Gruyère PDO (2001) <ul><li>Basis relates to Gruyère ‘Declaration’ </li></ul><ul><li>Specifications become mandatory for all stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Almost all value chain partners become members of the Gruyère Association (Interprofession du Gruyère) </li></ul><ul><li>But Protection only within Switzerland </li></ul>Need for a larger protection to better promote export
  9. 9. EU Recognition for Swiss PDOs (2010) <ul><li>Mutual recognition / protection of PDOs – Switzerland and UE exchange their PDO registers, including Gruyère. </li></ul><ul><li>Advantages: increased export, fight fraud within EU. </li></ul><ul><li>But: French Gruyère still exists, due to an older treaty between Switzerland and France. </li></ul>Gruyère Association still faces different challenges to boost (Swiss) Gruyère PDO!
  10. 10. Challenge 1 – Optimal inclusion of ‘Tradition’ <ul><li>Hard discussions about technical specifications: silage, heating, ripening etc.  Pressure from industry towards technical rationalization / ‘progress’ versus consumer preference for “tradition”. </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement: Technical improvement only if not putting at risk the core of typicality of Gruyère (taste in particular). </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: Today, still 176 active cheese makers  satisfied consumers, working places and landscape maintained, cultural heritage preserved, good image for the Gruyère region. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Challenge 2 – Create ‘Collective Advantages’ <ul><li>Difficult governance issue: How can 2’300 milk producers, 176 cheese makers, 52 mountain cheese makers, and 9 cheese refineries decide together? </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement: Set in place democratic and professional organizational structures  Gruyère Association (‘Gruyère Parliament’). </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: All partners along the value chain gained through improved market penetration of Gruyère PDO  higher milk prices for farmers, interesting margins / added value along the supply chain (processing, storage, marketing). </li></ul>
  12. 12. Challenge 3 – Optimal brand management <ul><li>Individual trademarks versus a collective PDO: How to stimulate collaboration and healthy competition to strengthen the brand while preventing ‘free riders’ from benefiting (image, quality, etc.) without participating? </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement: All stakeholders respect the PDO code of practice, which enhances fair competition along the supply chain  each cheese maker and ripener has an own (additional) trademark and freedom to sell. </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome: Strong positioning of the Gruyère PDO in the Swiss and international market  price and volumes increase </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thank you Et bon appétit !