1. Assessment and mapping
To organize a National Regional Products Contest, a broad overview of available products in a country’s regions is key. The following aspects must be analysed:
- Sector structure: production, processing and marketing of agri-food products ;
- Development and marketing strategies for agri-food products;
- Political, economic and social significance of producing of each food, and changes thereto;
- Availability of a quality label system with requirements and rules (Protected Designation of Origin, Protected Geographical Indication, Geographical Indication);
- Existing collective regional or other land-based brands;
- ther national or regional contests (involving one or several types of product);
- Existing agricultural or agri-food fairs;
- List of bodies supporting and promoting the sectors involved or to be involved;
- List of agri-food research and training institutes (e.g. INRA in France, Agroscope in Switzerland, Institut Agronomique Hassan II in Morocco, etc.);
- People who may be interested in taking part in organizing and following up the National Contest (and their position).
2. Identifying origin-linked products
While recognizing the specificity of each country giving its own definition of a terroir, the essential aspects to bear in mind when organizing a National Regional Products Contest are the following:
- A defined geographical area;
- Collective know-how;
- The relation between the physical and biological environment and the human factor (local population);
- The time dimension (tradition and history), part of an evolving process.
3. Responsibilities and commitment
Organizing a National Regional Products Contest is straightforward and manageable with limited funding, but this requires good coordination as well as professional supervision by the Organizing Committee.
Creating a new organization is unnecessary. Jury members, as human resources, are easily found and do not necessarily constitute a financial cost for the National Contest. The administrative aspect is an essential component that helps to develop a bond between producers, consumers and tasters.
4. Organizing a National Contest
To set up a National Regional Products Contest, the tasks and responsibilities of the institutions involved must be defined.
Organizing the National Contest occurs on two levels:
1. Strategic level: the Contest’s Strategic Committee is made up of senior figures of the public and private entities involved in organising the National Contest, and is chaired by the institution recognized to be the coordinator of the contest (Director or Director General)6. The Committee approves the National Contest dates and defines a roadmap for the operational team. It is usually made up of a dozen people at most.
2. Operational level: the Organizing Committee comprises managers and directors of the entities directly involved in assisting producers with regard to production and marketing of regional products. These institutions are directly involved in planning the National Contest. The Organizing Committee is made up of a National Contest Officer, who is also a member of the Strategic Committee, and one person for each component of the event (tastings & contest, medal ceremony, market, communication and promotion). It is therefore composed of a maximum of 8 people.