“Alpine Food Intangible Cultural Heritage between Legal Protection and Commercial Valorisation: Insights from the Alpfoodway Project”


A special event open to the public on Friday february 3rd, h. 19-20.30, hosted bx Kedge Business School in its La Joliette Campus, 7 Boulevard de Dunkerque, 13002 Marseille 


The event takes place in the context of the kick-off meeting (February 2nd-4th) of the AlpFoodway project, which is funded by the Interreg AlpineSpace 2014-2020 EU program

It will be an opportunity to know more about the AlpFoodway project and his objectives and the 14 involved partner from 6 Alpine countries. The goal of the event is to discuss how cultural intangible heritage linked to Alpine food culture can provide local communities with opportunities for sustainable local development, and will also permit to reflect on the possible strategies for its inscription as a “foodway” in the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Two keynote speakers will intervene:
Benedetta Ubertazzi, Aggregate Professor of European Union Law at the School of Law of the University of Milan-Bicocca, will present on “EU Geographical Indications and Intangible Cultural Heritage”
Diego Rinallo, Associate Professor of Marketing at Kedge Business School, will follow up with a presentation on “Linking Intangible Cultural Heritage to Consumer Culture: New approaches to the Commercial Valorisation of Authentic Traditions”.
Abstract of Prof. Ubertazzi’s presentation

Misappropriations of intangible cultural expressions occur in countries other than their State of origin and therefore are of a transnational nature. In 2003 the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage was adopted to safeguard intangible cultural heritage (ICH) at domestic and international level. However, this Convention lacks rules on transnational misappropriations. To safeguard ICH across borders, States Parties adopt intellectual property rights (IPRs) of a collective nature, in particular geographical indications (GIs). However, registrations of GIs in the country of origin of the ICH cannot safeguard it across the globe. Indeed, GIs must not only be registered in their country of origin, but also in other jurisdictions. Hence, certain States Parties register GIs in their respective territories, as well as in other countries. In particular, EU GIs are registered by non-EU member States. However, multi-state registrations of GIs still cannot safeguard ICH transnationally, since the parallel GIs must currently be enforced in each and every country of registration, even in the case of EU GIs. This implies multiple parallel proceedings, with risk of conflicting judgments, considerable litigation costs and inequalities between parties, in particular when IPRs owners are the ICH bearers, and therefore are communities, groups or individuals.

Abstract of Prof. Rinallo’s presentation

Consumer Culture Theory (CCT) is a theoretical orientation, building on anthropology, sociology, cultural studies and critical theory, to the study of consumption and its role in today’s society. Its concepts and methods have revolutionized the practice of marketing, which today gives much space to concepts such as experience, community, authenticity, and meaning co-creation, and the methodologies adopted for market research, which now include netnography (digital ethnography) and videography. A CCT perspective can shed light on how consumers’ search for authenticity can create niche market positions for local producers who, by resisting the structural forces of modernization, have preserved their traditions. Consumer culture can therefore be considered the missing link between the preservation of intangible cultural heritage and its commercial valorization.