Regional identity can add value to agricultural products
Regional identity creation is being recognized for its economic benefits and as a strategic resource for producer communities. A regional identity is not a brand; it is built through a complicated process of developing cohesion and sharing in the industry community and communicating outside the industry community to opinion-makers and consumers. The California fine wine industry has built successful regional identities and leveraged them to add value to their wines. As regional identities in the wine industry have strengthened, so has the industry, and a symbiotic relationship with other local value-added industries, such as tourism and hospitality, has emerged. Other agricultural producers can learn from the identity creation experiences in the wine industry. With the many challenges faced by California agriculture, identity formation may offer producers new ideas for adding value to their products and finding larger markets.