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Place, food, and agriculture: the use of geographical indications in olive oil production in western Turkey


This study concerns how olive oil producers and local bureaucrats in western Turkey use geographical indications (GIs) as a localist strategy to strengthen their position in global markets by challenging conventional agricultural practices. The study employs the disarticulation approach of global commodity chain analysis in order to understand which factors delink people and places from conventional commodity chains/industrial chains and link them instead to GI chains. The results of the study indicate that regional disadvantages—e.g., high production costs due to land characteristics—are the main factor delinking local actors from the conventional olive oil commodity chain. Furthermore, certain dynamic rent opportunities that are related to characteristics of territorial quality and to local cultural characteristics also contribute to the linking of the region and producers to GI chains.

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Derya Nizam, Department of Sociology, İzmir University of Economics, 35330, Balçova, İzmir, Turkey,

Author’s Note: I would like to thank the University of Sydney Postgraduate Research Support Scheme for funding the initial research for this article. I am also very grateful to the following people for their extremely helpful comments and criticism on earlier drafts of the materials: Salvatore Babones, Elisabeth Riedl, Jennifer Bair, Sarah Bowen, Ly Phan, Deniz Yükseker, Çağlar Keyder, and Zafer Yenal. I would also like to thank Michael D. Sheridan for his careful editing, and finally to convey my thanks to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions. Any remaining errors are, of course, my own.

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New Perspectives on Turkey
  • ISSN: 0896-6346
  • EISSN: 1305-3299
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