Team: Daniel Knudsen (lead), Carl Ipsen, Jennifer Robinson, New Faculty Lines, Research Scientists, and Post Doctoral Scholars.
Importance of Site: In Sicily, Geographically Delimited Origin (GDO) commodities offer a model for the potential of differentiated agricultural products to function as a mechanism for sustaining livelihoods across the food system and enhancing sustainability and resilience.
Site Description: Eastern Sicily is home to a large number of commodities with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), or in Italian DOPs (Denominazione Origine Protetta), or products having Protected Geographical Indication (PGI), or in Italian IGPs (Indicazione Geografica Protetta). We will focus on the Bronte Pistachio and the Siracusa Lemon, emblematic of Sicilian PDOs and PGI products respectively. Bronte Pistachios are cultivated and picked by hand on the volcanic western slopes of Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest and most active volcano (Wilson et al. 2017). The Siracusa Lemon is grown exclusively on 5,200 hectares near the town of Siracusa, and is picked around the year, allowing the lemons to have distinctly different qualities and flavors. Both Bronte pistachios and Siracusa lemons are aggregated locally via grower associations. A portion then enters local markets (Petino & Ingonito 2014). The grower associations also sell substantial amounts to larger distributors who then market the crop throughout Italy, the EU and the world. For example, more than 80% of the biennial pistachio crop is exported from Sicily.
Data Collection Approach/Methods: We will utilize a carto-ethnographic approach (Wilson et al. 2017) that combines the techniques of ethnography (archival research, participant observation, interview and survey [Hay 2000]) with cartographic data gathering techniques (remote sensing, on-the-ground photography, instrumentation, and drone-based survey).