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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter October 21, 2020

Organic and Geographical Indication Certifications’ Contributions to Employment and Education

Mohamed Hilal ORCID logo, Guy Leedon, Matthieu Duboys de Labarre, Federico Antonioli, Michael Boehm, Csillag Péter, Michele Donati ORCID logo, Marion Drut, Hugo Ferrer-Pérez, Lisa Gauvrit, José Maria Gil, Alexandros Gkatsikos, Marlena Gołaś, Viet Hoang, Kamilla Knutsen Steinnes, Apichaya Lilavanichakul, Agata Malak-Rawlikowska, Konstadinos Mattas, Orachos Napasintuwong, An Nguyen ORCID logo, Bojan Ristic, Burkhard Schaer, Marina Tomić Maksan, Ružica Brečić, Áron Török, Gunnar Vittersø and Valentin Bellassen ORCID logo


In this paper, we test to what extent Food Quality Schemes (FQS, including Geographical Indications and organic products) contribute to the social and economic sustainability of farmers and regions through employment and education. Through employment, FQS may counter the urban migration trend affecting rural regions, and help retain economic and social capital in the local region. Indeed, as FQS are often small and specialised sectors, the economic inefficiency of such businesses may translated into greater employment and social sustainability. Separately, by requiring a higher-level of quality and hence skills, FQS may encourage greater local educational attainment or skilled immigration. To test these propositions, we analyse the employment and educational outcomes of 25 FQS. Our results show that the FQS products examined have a 13% higher labour usage (labour-to-production ratio) compared to reference products, indicating that they provide greater employment. Additionally, wage levels are 32% higher in FQS compared to references. Despite providing greater employment and higher wages, profitability of FQS (i.e. how much turnover/profit is generated per employee) is nevertheless 32% higher for FQS compared to reference products, due to the ability to attract higher product prices. Finally, there is no clear link between FQS and greater (or lower) education attainment in the supply chain. Overall, our results suggest that FQS can provide a strong contribution to local employment, employee income and business profits, strengthening the social and economic sustainability of producers and regions.

Corresponding author: Mohamed Hilal, UMR1041 CESAER, INRAE, Dijon, France; UMR1041 CESAER, and University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Besançon, France, E-mail .

Funding source: European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme

Award Identifier / Grant number: 678024


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 678024. The authors would like to thank all the people and institutions who collected or provided raw data for this publication. Unfortunately, they are too numerous to be exhaustively listed here but they will hopefully recognise themselves through the list of data sources and the associated book.


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Received: 2019-09-19
Accepted: 2020-09-21
Published Online: 2020-10-21

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