Acta geographica Slovenica <p>The <em>Acta geographica Slovenica</em> journal was founded in 1952. It is issued three times a year by the ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute. The publication covers all branches of geography and related sciences, and geographically focuses mainly on Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.</p> <p>Print ISSN: 1581-6613<br>Online ISSN: 1581-8314</p> ZRC SAZU, Založba ZRC en-US Acta geographica Slovenica 1581-6613 Branding, labelling and certification: Geographical and anthropological insights <div><span lang="EN-GB">This article presents a theoretical and conceptual introduction to the special issue dedicated to branding, labelling and certification. The authors present the connections of these qualification instruments with regional development, multiscalarity, and actor networks from a geographical and anthropological perspective. The special issue contributes to a better understanding of the interferences and interconnections of various accompanying processes associated with branding, labelling, and certification, such as actors' practises and relationships, social power relations, alternative marketing strategies, long-term impacts on ethical values, and emotional concern.</span></div> Špela Ledinek Lozej Nika Razpotnik Visković Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-12-16 2022-12-16 62 2 51–61 51–61 10.3986/AGS.11265 The use of European Union instruments for branding and labelling regional food products in Estonia <p>The article examines how European Union rural development measures and food quality schemes are used for creating added value to regional food products in Estonia. In order to understand these processes, national food and heritage policies are analysed to highlight a lack of national instruments that would protect and promote regional specialities. The emergence of regional brands (funded by the European Union LEADER measure) is an example of an initiative to increase the visibility of regional products and food culture on the domestic market and to brand the region. Another attempt for recognising and re-regionalising local specialities is the application for the European Union Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) label for a traditional cheese sõir in south-eastern Estonia.</p> Ester Bardone Anu Kannike Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-09-08 2022-09-08 62 2 63–74 63–74 10.3986/AGS.10504 From branding to solidarity: The COVID-19 impact on marketing Strachítunt cheese from Val Taleggio, Italy <p>Branding, labelling and certification are the principal instruments for marketing heritage cheese in the Italian Alps. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has put considerable strain on these tools. In Val Taleggio, where the Protected Designation of Origin cheese <em>Strachítunt</em> is made, the cooperative of producers suffered a breakdown in access to markets during the lockdown of March–May 2020. Their strategy was to appeal directly to consumers, connecting digitally with solidarity economy networks such as <em>Gruppi di Acquisto Solidale</em> (Solidarity Purchase Groups). Building on long-term ethnography, the article shows how this appeal brought to the surface a shared discourse and understanding of proximity and solidarity, which is not usually employed in the language of certification and labelling.</p> Cristina Grasseni Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-10-18 2022-10-18 62 2 75–85 75–85 10.3986/AGS.10577 Labelling local wood: On the valorization of regionality and sustainability in timber trade <p>In the face of climate change and a common call for environmental protection, regionality and sustainability turn out to be as symbolic as monetary values in economic contexts. In order to highlight and certificate these ethical ambitions, an international programme of forest certification has established a label that aims at distinguishing wood as logged and processed within a specific ‘regional’ area. The article scrutinizes the implementation of this label in the timber trades and deconstructs how the actors involved establish a link between ethical and economic concerns. By describing their everyday perspectives on the micro level, the article reveals shared aims (evoking credibility) and ideals (establishing sustainable action within regional markets) but also contradictions (efficiency and range). It shows that the label borrows from established designation procedures (such as Cultural Heritage, Geopark, Geographical Indications), and yet has its own logics linked to the properties of the material wood and spatial relations that constitute and confine the label’s actors network.</p> Sarah May Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-09-09 2022-09-09 62 2 87–99 87–99 10.3986/AGS.10507 (In)visible agents in regional development: Active individuals and their networks as a driver of regional product labelling initiatives <p>Support for regional production along with its certification and labelling can be understood more broadly as regional development initiatives. Accordingly, the declared objectives of many certification schemes include environmental, economic, social, and cultural aspects. However, to bring benefits for the region, a certification scheme must be used efficiently. Key actor interviews combined with an assessment of the activities of thirty Czech certification schemes, all members of the Association of Regional Brands, helped us identify positive and negative factors affecting the initiatives’ success and potential for enhancing regional development. In line with current institutional approaches to regional development, the engagement and creativity of actors as well as creating networks, which help them overcome various constraints, were found to be essential.</p> Magdalena Fialová Pavel Chromý Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-10-18 2022-10-18 62 2 101–117 101–117 10.3986/AGS.10518 Place branding as an approach to the development of rural areas: A case study of the brand “Babica in Dedek” from the Škofja Loka Hills, Slovenia <p>Place branding is an approach to stimulating territorial development. From the theoretical point of view, place branding in rural areas should be an inclusive and participatory process. Applications and outcomes of the process have been insufficiently investigated so far in rural areas. The oldest place brand in Slovenia, <em>“Babica in Dedek”</em>, is analyzed to present its socioeconomic circumstances, impacts, and challenges from the perspective of local producers. Three qualitative methods are thus applied: analysis of documents, semi-structured interviews, and a focus group. This case study has revealed factors that contribute to new marketing opportunities, product packaging, holding seminars, and advertising local products in the area. On the other hand, the empirical findings are only partly aligned with the theoretical implications: the impacts of place branding are “sectorally limited” instead of being inclusive and participative.</p> Erik Logar Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-11-10 2022-11-10 62 2 119–133 119–133 10.3986/AGS.10883 Certification, labelling and branding in tourism research: systematic review <p>The aim of this paper is to present a systematic review of tourism certification, labelling and branding research. To review the scientific literature, we followed the PRISMA methodological approach. We started by outlining the spatial and temporal distribution of research linked to certification, labelling and branding, carried out in the social sciences and humanities. In the second step, we extracted the theoretical definitions and characteristics of these three processes in tourism from a selected body of literature. We continued by analysing hierarchical and non-hierarchical relations between certification and branding, and by drawing conclusions linked to duality, or even contradictions that are emerging in this field of tourism research.</p> Nika Razpotnik Visković Erik Logar Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-11-10 2022-11-10 62 2 135–150 135–150 10.3986/AGS.10858 The change in educational assortative mating in Serbia and Slovenia, 1970–2020 <p>This paper explores marital matching patterns from the perspective of the partners' educational attainment, focusing on the link between gender asymmetry in education and educational hypergamy. In order to assess to what extent the tendency for women to marry men of higher educational status is related to the educational gender gap in Serbia and Slovenia, we calculate an index for women's educational advantage, and an index for the prevalence of educational hypergamy. Our results confirm the following: the growth of education is associated with an increase in female educational advantage; the relationship between female educational advantage and educational hypergamy is strongly negative; and there are no significant differences in assortative mating patterns between Serbia and Slovenia.</p> Damjan Bakić Vera Gligorijević Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-08-08 2022-08-08 62 2 7–22 7–22 10.3986/AGS.10496 Spatiotemporal evolution of droughts and their teleconnections with large-scale climatic indices in the Lower Sebou Basin in northwestern Morocco <p>The Lower Sebou Basin, placed in a Mediterranean climate, has the particularity of being exposed to the influence of disturbances from the Atlantic Ocean, making periods of drought and climatic phenomena variable in space and time. Applying the world's most recognized drought indices, shows that the duration, frequency and severity of droughts have increased since the start of the 21<sup>st</sup> century. These results revealed and placed in the even wider regional climatic context, including the two dominant atmospheric oscillations such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) and the Mediterranean Oscillation (MO), suggest that the significant drought trends determined are correlated with the relative facts of the two oscillations.</p> Oualid Hakam Abdennasser Baali Khalil Azennoud Touria El Kamel Yassine Ait Brahim Youssra Ahouach Copyright (c) 2022 ZRC SAZU Anton Melik Geographical Institute 2022-08-08 2022-08-08 62 2 23–47 23–47 10.3986/AGS.10508