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ⓘ Country of origin




Country of origin
                                     

ⓘ Country of origin

Country of origin, is the country of manufacture, production, or growth where an article or product comes from. There are differing rules of origin under various national laws and international treaties. Country of origin labelling is also known as place-based branding, the made-in image or the "nationality bias." In some regions or industries, country of origin labelling may adopt unique local terms such as terroir used to describe wine appellations based on the specific region where grapes are grown and wine manufactured.

Place-based branding has a very ancient history. Archaeological evidence points to packaging specifying the place of manufacture dating back to some 4.000 years ago. Over time, informal labels evolved into formal, often regulated labels providing consumers with information about product quality, manufacturer name and place of origin.

                                     

1. Definition

Country of origin of a product can have several possible definitions. It can refer to:

a "the place from which the merchandise was directly received; that is the last border crossed or port entered before reaching its final destination; b the country of consignment i.e. from where the goods were sold; or, c the country of original growth or extraction."
                                     

2. History of country-of-origin labelling

The inclusion of place of origin on manufactured goods has an ancient history. In antiquity, informal branding which included details such as the name of manufacturer and place of origin were used by consumers as important clues as to product quality. David Wengrow has found archaeological evidence of brands, which often included origin of manufacture, dating to around 4.000 years ago. Producers began by attaching simple stone seals to products which, over time, were transformed into clay seals bearing impressed images, often associated with the producers personal identity thus providing information about the product and its quality. For instance, an object found in a royal burial tomb in Abydos southern Egypt and dating to around 3.000 B.C.E., carries brand elements that would be very familiar to modern consumers. Inscriptions on the surface denote a specific place of manufacture, "finest oil of Tjehenu," a region in modern-day Libya.

In China, place-names appear to have developed independently during the Han Dynasty 220 BC-AD 200; brand names and place names were relatively commonplace on goods. Eckhardt and Bengtsson have argued that in the absence of a capitalist system, branding was connected to social systems and cultural contexts; that brand development was a consumer-initiated activity rather than the manufacturer-push normally associated with Western brand management practices.

Diana Twede has shown that amphorae used in Mediterranean trade between 1500 and 500 BCE exhibited a wide variety of shapes and markings, which provided information for purchasers during exchange. Systematic use of stamped labels dates appears to date from around the fourth century BCE. In a largely pre-literate society, the shape of the amphora and its pictorial markings functioned as a brand, conveying information about the contents, region of origin and even the identity of the producer which were understood to function as signs of product quality.

The Romans preferred to purchase goods from specific places, such as oysters from Londinium and cinnamon from a specific mountain in Arabia, and these place-based preferences stimulated trade throughout Europe and the Middle East. In Pompeii and nearby Herculaneum, archaeological evidence also points to evidence of branding and labelling in relatively common use. Wine jars, for example, were stamped with names, such as "Lassius" and "L. Eumachius;" probably references to the name of the producer. Carbonized loaves of bread, found at Herculaneum, indicate that some bakers stamped their bread with the producers name.

Umbricius Scauras, a manufacturer of fish sauce also known as garum in Pompeii c. 35 C.E., was branding his amphora which travelled across the entire Mediterranean. Mosaic patterns in the atrium of his house were decorated with images of amphora bearing his personal brand and quality claims. The mosaic comprises four different amphora, one at each corner of the atrium, and bearing labels as follows:

1. Gari Flos SCO/A SCAURI Translated as: "The best liquamen, from the shop of Scaurus"

Scauras fish sauce was known to be of very high quality across the Mediterranean and its reputation travelled as far away as modern France.

During the Medieval period in Europe, numerous market towns sprang up and competition between them intensified. In response to competitive pressures, towns began investing in developing a reputation for quality produce, efficient market regulation and good amenities for visitors. By the thirteenth century, English counties with important textile industries were investing in purpose built halls for the sale of cloth. Londons Blackwell Hall became a centre for cloth, Bristol became associated with a particular type of cloth known as Bristol red, Stroud was known for producing fine woollen cloth, the town of Worsted became synonymous with a type of yarn; Banbury and Essex were strongly associated with cheeses. Casson and Lee have argued that the chartered markets of England and Europe in medieval times were using the regional markets reputation as a sign of produce quality and that this acted as an early form of branding.

Following the European age of expansion, goods were imported from afar. Marco Polo, for example, wrote about silk from China and spices from India. Consumers began to associate specific countries with merchandise - calico cloth from India, porcelain, silk and tea from China, spices from India and South-East Asia and tobacco, sugar, rum and coffee from the New World.

By the late 19th century, European countries began introducing country of origin labelling legislation. In the 20th century, as markets became more global and trade barriers removed, consumers had access to a broader range of goods from almost anywhere in the world. Country of origin is an important consideration in purchase decision-making.

                                     

3. Effects on consumers

The effects of country of origin labeling on consumer purchasing have been extensively studied. The country of origin effect is also known as the "made-in image" and the "nationality bias."

Research shows that consumers broad general perceptions of a country, including of its national characteristics, economic and political background, history, traditions, and representative products, combine to create an overall image or stereotype that is then attached to the products of that country. For example, a global survey carried out by Nielsen, reported that Country of origin image has a significant influence on consumer perceptions and behaviours, and in situations in which additional information is unavailable or difficult to get can be the sole determinant of whether or not someone buys a product. Its effect is strongest on consumers who do not know much about the product or product type, and weakest on consumers who are well-informed. Sensitivity to country of origin varies by product category. It is strongest for durable goods and luxury goods and weakest for "low involvement" product categories such as shampoo and candy. In various studies it has also been proven that the Country-of-Origin Effect also applies to services.

Several studies have shown that consumers tend to have a relative preference to products from their own country or may have a relative preference for or aversion against products that originate from certain countries so-called affinity and animosity countries.



                                     

4. International trade

When shipping products from one country to another, the products may have to be marked with country of origin, and the country of origin will generally be required to be indicated in the export/import documents and governmental submissions. Country of origin will affect its admissibility, the rate of duty, its entitlement to special duty or trade preference programs, antidumping, and government procurement.

Today, many products are an outcome of a large number of parts and pieces that come from many different countries, and that may then be assembled together in a third country. In these cases, its hard to know exactly what is the country of origin, and different rules apply as to how to determine their "correct" country of origin. Generally, articles only change their country of origin if the work or material added to an article in the second country constitutes a substantial transformation, or, the article changes its name, tariff code, character or use for instance from wheel to car. Value added in the second country may also be an issue.

In principle, the substantial transformation of a product is intended as a change in the harmonized system coding. For example, a rough commodity sold from country A to country B, than subjected of a transformation in country B, which sells the final processed commodity to a country C is considered a sufficient step to label the end product made in B.

                                     

5. Film and television production

The International Federation of Film Archives defines the country of origin as the "country of the principal offices of the production company or individual by whom the moving image work was made". No consistent reference or definition exists. Sources include the item itself, accompanying material, the container if not an integral part of the piece, or other sources standard and special moving image reference tools. In law, definitions of "country of origin" and related terms are defined differently in different jurisdictions. The European Union, Canada, and the United States have different definitions for a variety of reasons, including tax treatment, advertising regulations, distribution; even within the European Union, different member states have different legislation. As a result, an individual work can have multiple countries as its "country of origin", and may even have different countries recognized as originating places for the purpose of different legal jurisdictions. Under copyright law in the United States and other signatories of the Berne Convention, "country of origin" is defined in an inclusive way to ensure the protection of intellectual rights of writers and creators.

                                     

6. See also

  • Made in Taiwan
  • Terroir - The basis of the French wine labelleing appellation dorigine controlee AOC system)
  • Nation branding
  • Branding
  • History of marketing
  • Guaranteed Irish
  • Made in China
  • Made in USSR
  • 100% Cinta Indonesia
  • Made in Italy
  • Protected Geographical Status
  • Swiss Made
  • Made in France
  • Made in Croatia
  • CE marking
  • Made in USA
  • Made in Russia
  • History of brand management
  • Made in Germany
  • Brand management
                                     
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