Brussels, 12 December 2008
The European Commission has approved measures to provide information on, and to promote agricultural products in third countries. Member States submitted 30 programmes to the Commission to be examined. The 11 programmes that have been accepted are from Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Spain and Ireland. They are targeted at Russia, Ukraine, China, Japan and North America. The products covered are wine, fruit and vegetables, meat, dairy products and PDO and organic products. The EU contribution is € 17.8 million (50% of the total budget of the programmes).
"EU quality products are second to none,” said Mariann Fischer Boel, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. “Increasing their visibility on markets outside the EU is a major priority. I see enormous sales potential on overseas markets, where people appreciate the history behind these high quality foodstuffs and wines. By investing in promotion and information campaigns for our products outside the EU, the European Union is showing its determination to take up this challenge."
The EU can fund (to a maximum of 50%) measures in third countries that provide information on, or promote, agricultural products and food products. These measures can be public relations, promotional or publicity measures, in particular highlighting the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, hygiene, food safety, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environment-friendliness. These measures can amongst others also cover participation at events and fairs, information campaigns on the EU system of protected designations of origin (PDOs), protected geographical indications (PGIs) and traditional speciality guaranteed (TSGs) and of organic farming. Also possible are information campaigns on the EU system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR) and studies of new markets.
Detailed rules for applying the promotion and information measures are laid down by a Commission Regulation. Not later than 30 June each year Member States have to send to the Commission the list of programmes they have selected and a copy of each programme. Subsequently the Commission evaluates the programmes and decides on their eligibility. The Commission Regulation also lists the third-country markets where promotion measures can be carried out and the products which can be covered by these promotion measures.
Annex: Accepted information and promotion programmes - series 2008
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