Reserved designations play several essential roles in the local economy. They promote Québec’s agricultural and food heritage or the culture of a particular region or community. They give consumers a guarantee that items bearing a designation are authentic products with specific attributes. They protect Québec businesses and products against imitations and false labelling. A product bearing a reserved designation gives its producers a comparative advantage over their main competitors, both on local and external markets.
Given the huge diversity of products on the market and the quantity of information circulating, a recognized reserved designation is an effective way of providing consumers with information and reassurance about the specific characteristics of these foods.
The Act respecting Reserved Designations and Added-Value Claims fosters the diversification of agricultural production by encouraging producers to join forces in producing and marketing specific products and protecting their name.
Protection of designations, mainly designations associated with a terroir, helps raise awareness of and promote the value of authentic products from a particular region. This can prove a major asset in regions that are remote or unsuitable for intensive agriculture. The economy that grows up around the marketing of reserved-designation products, together with the requirement that the stages in a product’s development be conducted in the region of the designation, is a strong driver of rural and regional development.
The expertise and skills required for production are set out in a designation’s specifications, thereby protecting the product’s characteristics and attaching value to collective know-how.