1. Nominations for inclusion on the Ark must be food products and may include: domestic species (plant varieties, ecotypes, indigenous animal breeds and populations), wild species (only if tied to methods of harvesting, processing and traditional uses) and processed products.
2. Products must be of distinctive quality in terms of taste. ‘Taste quality', in this context, is defined in the context of local traditions and uses.
3. Products must be linked to a specific area, to the memory and identity of a group and to local traditions.
4. Products must be produced in limited quantities.
5. Products must be at risk of extinction.
It is essential to interpret and apply the criteria with regard to the specific local situation of the product, always respecting the cultural, social, geographical, economic and political differences of the communities who preserve the products.