Development of Geographical Indications

Project completed

This project was aimed to improve the knowledge and experience for the implementation of Geographical Indications protection system in Romania (GI). In cooperation with public and private actors, registration procedures and certification processes have been accompanied and the knowledge in developing market studies and marketing strategies enhanced. The Project was part of the Partnership and Expert fund in Romania. Further information about this fund can be found among the additional information on the very bottom of this page.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Promoting economic growth and improving working conditions
01.04.2013 - 31.03.2016
CHF  226’760

Regional disparities as well as development gaps between different farm categories in Romania tend to increase. The rural zones from the Carpathian arc and Transylvania encounter real difficulties to capture financial support from the EU. Micro farms under one hectare are excluded and many small-scale farms (1-5 ha) are likely to be merged to larger units. In parallel, smaller Romanian farmers have developed resilience strategies against fluctuations of national policies and markets, in order to guarantee the subsistence of their family group. These strategies are based on family economic and technical autonomy through diversified production systems and economic activities, international family links and local informal exchange systems. Therefore, there is a real need to take into account the high priority issue for rural families – promoting on-farm diversification activities developed in the informal sphere in order to better access markets.


The project has been supported Romanian institutional and economic stakeholders in building a differentiation process for agricultural and agri-food products through the consolidation of the Geographical Indications (GI) protection system in order to allow small and medium scale farming systems to become or remain economically, socially and environmentally viable. The specific objectives were:

  • The GI concept is further expanded to a core group of institutions and persons, tailored to the Romanian socio-economic context
  • The administration is able to deliver quality services corresponding to an effective GI protection system
  • Romanian GI producers and processors are able to prepare applications for the registration of their GIs and to organize the marketing of their products in line with consumers’ expectations
Target groups

Producers (future right holders of GI); Government organizations responsible for the registration, certification and GI production process

Activities This project built a GI group in Romania, as a community of practice, joining administration, extension services, and relevant private stakeholders. The core group has been accompanied through the testing of the GI registration procedure and certification process and through the selection of three products, their production and market study and differentiation strategy (typicality, code of practice, marketing strategy). Transferable practices from the Swiss GI system to the Romanian context have been extracted.

Achieved results:  

  • Four products (one more than foreseen) were prepared for GI registration
  • The project has initiated multi-stakeholder platforms and local producer networks to raise the awareness about the registration process for Geographical Indications. The GI network had  28 members by March 2016)
  • The project identified together with all relevant stakeholders the blockages within the product registration process in Romania. By that, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) got informed and aware of the needed changes
  • A qualitative market study on traditional products in Romania with a specific part devoted to the 4 project selected products was conducted
  • a qualitative study on consumer perception was conducted
  • a study trip to Switzerland took place in October 2015 (with 17 participants)
  • Policy level: changes in legislation for GI system and the GI certification process is adapted to the RO context

The project has been completed at an operational level.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Swiss Contribution to the enlarged EU
Project partners Contract partner
Private sector

Other partners

Intermediary Body: KEK-CDC Consultants; Executing Agency: AGRIDEA

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    226’760 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    78’000
Project phases Phase 4 01.09.2014 - 31.08.2017   (Completed)

Phase 3 01.04.2013 - 31.03.2016   (Completed)

Phase 2 01.05.2012 - 30.11.2019   (Completed)