chapter  8
Re-embedding Greek Feta in localities
Cooperation of small dairies as a territorial development strategy
ByTheodosia Anthopoulou, Dimitris Goussios
Pages 18

In the current global–local dynamics of food markets, the main question that arises is: “How can a globalized food such as Greek Feta cheese be re-localized so as to reproduce the specific territorial resources of the agropastoralist areas and define a territorial development strategy?”. Drawing on fieldwork evidence from Thessaly region, the authors argue that the establishment of a place-based label for Feta (Terra Thessalia label) within the defined Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) area by activating territorial assets (mountainous pastures, locally adapted breeds, cheesemaking techniques and traditions, ethnocultural proximity, etc.) fosters small dairy territories; i.e. traditionally specialized and historically constructed territories that are firmly embedded in ecological, social and cultural networks. The cooperation of small artisanal dairies through a territorial brand inside the “national terroir” (nationwide PDO), representing a kind of “archipelago of micro-basins”, enables participatory territorial governance of the dairy food chain as well as social control of local cultural heritage and collective intellectual rights vis-à-vis major external actors. In fact, a territorial participatory guarantee system has been created to confirm the authenticity of the product compared to Greek Feta PDO of standard quality and enhance consumer loyalty.