This paper discusses the institutionalization of the Geographical Indications (GI) system in Brazil. Emphasis is placed on the evaluative disputes underway in hybrid forums where different actors seek to build compromises concerning production rules and standards. Linking economic sociology and a conventionalist approach to market institutions, analysis highlights the different understandings of GIs as they emerge from the discourses and practices of actors involved in food qualification processes. The results are derived from research conducted in the most important GI areas in Brazil over the last six years. That research demonstrates that GI projects have been developed without a stabilized institutional frame, thus leading to the reproduction of a variety of subsystems implemented within different territorial and sectoral contexts. This, in turn, has created several obstacles to market development.

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