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  • News release
12 May 2018

Geographical indication labelling of Safran : Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) appraised the PMV report

The incentive policy of the supervising ministry  also encouraged the adoption of Protected Designation of Origin

Origin-linked registration substantially increased the price of the final product, with an added value.

 Talouine saffron labelled to the place of its origin  generate a number of advantages economic as well as social . A new study by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)  has found that food products linked to their place of origin  are economically and socially beneficial to rural areas and promote sustainable development.

The study Strengthening sustainable food systems through geographical indications by Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) analyses the economic impact of Geographical Indication registration in nine case studies, including the moroccan saffron. The Indication of origin substantially increased the price of the final product, with an added value.

 Following thid document, this sub-scetor has been reorganized significantly with the implementation of the Plan Green Morocco, which encourages the creation of cooperatives and their organisation in what is called Economic Interest Grouping (EIGs) that has   multiplied by a factor of seven (from 5 to 35 cooperatives). The incentive policy of the supervising ministry  also encouraged the adoption of  saffron as Protected Designation of Origin  anf offering finacial assistance to cover the cost of certification.

The reorganisation of this sub-sector led to the evolution of the production and the quantity commercialized. FAO explains that this improvement is due to three factors : the increase of the plots cultivated, the good conditions of small producers because of the support of the government for the irrigation system, and last the intensification of the different practices of production.

The comparison of  saffron sales (Protected Designation of Origin) with the other cooperatives relying on other channels of sales is very intersting. The sales of the producers non affilated to cooperatives have dropped by 26%  between 2000 and 2014 meanwhile the quantities sold by  cooperatives and private businesses have increased by 1.075% in the same period. The study shows that cooperatives help better the sales of  a product (Protected Designation of Origin) than individual sales. The prices paid to producers non affiliated to cooperatives have increased by  40%   between 2000 and 2014, undergoing a change from  11.500 DH per kg in 2000 to almost  16.000 DH per kg in 2014. Prices paid to producers  members of  cooperatives increased by 500% between 2000 and 2014, jumping from  3.300 DH per kg in 2000 to around 17.000 DH per kg in 2014.

The implementaion has had a positive impact on producers in general , but witha higher impact on those affiliated to cooperatives. Among the impacts observed while we conducted field surveys is the diversification of official markets. The sales Protected Designation of Origin products in supermarkets in coastal cities ( Casablanca, Agadir and rabat) have witneed an increase of 137% in quantity  between 2010 and 2014. The fact that the indiviual sales were substitued by the sales of cooperatives contributed in strcturing the formal market. The sales of the cooperatives under the label Protected Designation of Origin reinforces the formal sector and makes it more transparent.

The study shows also that Protected Designation of Origin is one of the means which limits counterfeiting, reinforces the reputation and organizes this sub-sector making it stable in revenue.

The report highlights another indirect impact which is the development of tourism.The creation of an annual saffron  festival as one of the actions to promote saffron Taliouine Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in the region. This led also to the creation of small businesses to receive tourists. This territorial dynamism was accompanied by different training projetcts for the producers in different technical issues. According to the same source of information,  controls are carried out by the producers themselves, thanks to the training provided by the Council of Regions Souss-Massa, , who then control the producers once a year. A third evaluation is performed by Normacert, the accredited certification body responsible for issuing the certificate of conformity. For he cost of certification , the cooperatives and GEI get  financial assistance from the government, meanwhile private businesses pay a fixed tax of 8.000 DH per year (equivalent to745 euros).