Assessing the Regionality Degree of Regional Products o The Ustí Region (Czechia)

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Abstract

In Czechia, especially in the last decade, there has been an unusual expansion of regional labelling of products, experience, and services. This trend confirms the paradigmatic change in the approach to rural development, as well as the growing popularity of alternative food networks and forms of consumption. The boom of regional labelling, however, can threaten the future perspectives of regional products. Too many regional or supra-regional labels (and subsequently too many regional products) can reduce the presented uniqueness of these products and increase the danger of them becoming mainstream. The aim of this paper is to assess regional products' relational intensity to a particular region. For this purpose, a specific method for the assessment of regional products of the Ústí Region (Czechia) has been developed and applied. The resulting “regionality degree” should express the rate of traditionality of each regional product. Based on the application of this methodological approach, the paper confirms the concern of the expansion of regional labelling, even on those products whose embeddedness in the region is relatively weak. The reason for this might also be the specific economic history of the region influencing the degree of regionality of given products or, more precisely, their existence, to some extent.

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