- Publication date
- 20 October 2023
- European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency
- Publication type
The agri-food sector, which covers the production, processing, packing, and distribution of food and drink products, has been experiencing strong growth in Latin America with a positive impact on its competitiveness for more than a decade. The sector currently maintains good dynamism and enjoys a privileged position for further development due to this region’s growing population, natural resources, biodiversity, and the huge potential of new arable land (especially in Brazil and Argentina).
Latin America is a traditional net exporting region for agricultural commodities. Brazil and Argentina are positioned among the most important suppliers of agricultural products to the EU. Economic, social, and natural factors make up a very attractive scenario for European SMEs that wish to do business in the agri-food sector in Latin America. However, the consumer’s growing standards in some aspects such as food safety, geographical origin, manufacturing processes, or the redefinition of competition in the sector, has laid the ground for a new approach to the sector, making the distinction through brands or processes extremely important, particularly in the food subsector.
According to Gourmand International, the market has shifted east and south, with Latin America and Asia offering the most interesting trade in the sector. Therefore, EU SMEs can, at the moment, enter a sector whose degree of maturity is much lower in Latin America than in Europe through a consistent strategy that balances innovation and marketing. Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are the tools needed to correctly protect the intangible assets resulting from both of them. Accordingly, section 2 of this guide explains the most important IPRs for competing in the agri-food sector. Moreover, section 3 focuses on one of the most important –and specific– IPRs in the agri-food sector: geographical indications.