Isabel Mariana MARIN TORRES, 32 years old – Mexico: developing Geographical Indications in Argentina.

I am Isabel Marin born in Guadalajara, Mexico. My current Master Food Identity studies have increased my competences to work and develop the tight link between cultural identity and agriculture in the world.

When I was about to graduate from my BSc in Culinary Management, I headed to Papantla, Veracruz, to meet some vanilla growers. I was passionate about this topic since I thought there were positive aspects in vanilla beans produced in that specific area. I also considered both the product and the place where emblematic to Mexico’s history. In addition, I had a feeling that and adequate promotion of the product and the place, would benefit the identity the producers and their economy. At his point I ignored that geographical indications existed.

I further did food science studies and I developed culinary expertise by working in Canada and different countries of Europe. By 2013, I created a project on Mexican gastronomic heritage in association, to which I devoted nearly two years in Mexico.

The Master Food Identity experience allowed me meet professors and professionals of different sectors in agriculture and for improved food systems. Traveling and studying in 4 European universities allowed me to team with classmates of different nationalities. In Piacenza, Italy, I made farmer and beekeeper friends whom I approached to research project on the possibility for a Geographical Indication for the honey produced locally. By the time we had to travel to the USAMV in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, I had the chance to present this honey case at a round of student’s scientific papers, in support with a professor specialized in honey research in Romania. My experience with honey, made me learn about the social importance of a group working together under a common goal.

The year 2017 and the Food Identity experience made me head turn towards Argentina, where I will make my professional internship with INTA, Argentina in collaboration with INRA in Corsica. I will travel to do a field study on nonfood GI ‘s since, crafts and manufactured products are key sources of economy for SME ‘s, especially in countries of the south. I will assist to characterize artisanal wool textile from two areas in the Andes : la Puna and the estepa Patagonica where the Mapuche and Tehuelche cultures are found, for a potential collectivebrand. If you are more curious, you can read more about the first European protection of origin granted on December 2016, to wood sofa produced in a specific area in France Lorraine, the #SiègedeLiffol