In 2001, UNESCO adopted the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and in December 2002, the UN General Assembly declared May 21 to be the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development affirming culture’s contribution to the three dimensions of sustainable development, acknowledging the natural and cultural diversity of the world, and recognizing that cultures and civilizations can contribute to, and are crucial enablers of, sustainable development.
Why does cultural diversity matter?
- Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.
- Cultural diversity is a driving force of development, not only with respect to economic growth, but also as a means of leading a more fulfilling intellectual, emotional, moral and spiritual life.
- At the same time, acceptance and recognition of cultural diversity are conducive to dialogue among civilizations and cultures, respect and mutual understanding.
Celebrating cultural diversity
As the exchange and discovery of the culinary heritages of different cultures contributes to a better knowledge, a better respect and offers a moment of sharing and conviviality in favor of cultural diversity, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER marked the date by celebrating the cultural diversity in our teams by enjoying culinary treats from our colleagues from different cultural backgrounds in all offices.
In addition, our IP experts share a selection of their favourite local products that are recognized as a protected geographical indication (PGI).
A geographical indication (GI) is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. In order to function as a GI, a sign must identify a product as originating in a given place.
- In 2020, the geographical indication “Aceite de Jaén” became the first geographical indication for extra virgin olive oil to be recognized in Spain. “Aceite de Jaén” covers extra virgin olive oils produced in the province of Jaén mainly from olives of the picual variety, which is native to the area and accounts for more than 90 % of the olive-growing area in the province of Jaén. As secondary varieties, manzanilla de Jaén, royal de Cazorla, carrasqueño de Alcaudete, hojiblanca, arbequina and picudo are permitted. The Protected Geographical Indication covers the 97 municipalities that make up the province of Jaén, a province that is considered ”the world capital of Olive Oil” thanks to being the territory that produces the most extra virgin olive oil in the world.
- France is famous for its numerous cheeses, with each region proud of its own varieties. The latest to have made the EU geographical indications register in May 2022, after years of mobilisation from its producers, is a French speciality with the funny name of “cancoillotte” from the eastern region of Franche-Comté, made out of locally-produced milk and centuries-old know-how which gives it its particular creamy texture (yet said to be one of the least caloric cheeses). Sometimes flavored, it lends itself to various uses, whether it is spread on bread or substitutes other cheeses in a fondue or gratin… The new PGI is expected to promote its visibility nationwide and outside French borders, securing the economy of this region with an important dairy cattle breeding.
- Another protected geographical indication is “Gouda Holland”. It is a naturally matured, medium-hard cheese that is prepared from cow’s milk from Dutch dairy farms. The name of the cheese comes from the famous Gouda cheese market, traces of which have been found as far back as the 14th century. In the Middle Ages, Dutch cities could apply for feudal rights, giving them a monopoly on the sale of certain products. In 1395 the city of Gouda obtained this right to sell cheese in Holland. As a result, the farmers from this part of the Netherlands were only allowed to sell their cheese on the Gouda market and over time the name of the city became synonymous with this cheese. In the 20th century, Gouda cheese had grown into a national product of worldwide fame. In recognition of the taste and traditions, the names Gouda Holland and Noord-Hollandse Gouda are protected by the European Union. Noord-Hollandse Gouda was recognized as a protected designation of origin (PDO) in 1996, and Gouda Holland was recognized as a protected geographical indication (PGI) in 2006.
- Very desirable during the Christmas period and found on all Belgian Christmas markets is Jenever. More specifically, “Hasseltse jenever”. A spirit drink created by aromatizing alcohol obtained from cereals with juniper berries, and where appropriate, flavoured with plants or herbs. Existing since the Middle Ages and once assigned healing properties and so popular in the 2nd part of the 19th century, that 9.5L was consumed per person per year in Belgium, thanks to the industrial revolution. The spirit drink is created within the territory of the canton of Hasselt, which also includes Zonhoven and Diepenbeek, where the yearly “Jeneverfeesten” or jenever festivals take place. The city is then filled with spectacle, music, gastronomy, conviviality and of course, Hasseltse Jenever. The city has its own Jenever museum where the you can discover all about the history of the drink and allows you to take a jenever walking tour, which will bring you by buildings and monuments that once were part of the industry. Hasseltse Jenever has been registered since 1989 and protected as a geographical indication since 2008.
- “Kölsch” is a light, filtered and top-fermented full-bodied beer from Cologne, Germany, brewed from barley malt, hops and water. First brewed in 1906, it has been advertised as “Kölsch” since 1918. The beer has since gained worldwide recognition and was named “Beer of the Summer 2011” by the New York Times. It is traditionally drunk from a slim, cylindrical glass with a capacity of 0.2 l and served in Kölsch brewhouses by the “Köbes”. In most breweries, it is customary for each guest to be brought another Kölsch without being asked as soon as they have emptied their glass. In 1997, Kölsch was added to the list of protected geographical designations of origin and was one of the first alcoholic beverages with guaranteed contents, production and origin.
- Apart from its famous wines, the Burgundy region in France is also well known for its mustard prepared with white Burgundy wines (Aligoté and Chardonnay) which gives a strong and specific taste to the mustard. This mustard usually accompanies meats and compose some French dressing such as vinaigrette or mayonnaise. The geographical indication “Moutarde de Bourgogne” has been recognized in 2009.
Find out more about HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER’s D&I activities, goals and policies on our D&I page.