European Commission - Press release
€37.6 million EU support for the promotion of agricultural products
Brussels, 5 July 2011 – The European Commission has approved 26 programmes in 13 Member States to provide information on and to promote agricultural products in the European Union. The total budget for the programmes, which will run for between one and three years, is €75.1 million, of which the EU will contribute €37.6 million (50%). The selected programmes cover wine, PDOs, PGIs and TSGs, organic food and farming, fruit and vegetables, horticulture, milk and milk products, olive oil and table olives, eggs, seed oil and meat.
‘European Union agricultural products are unique in their quality and diversity,’ said Dacian Cioloş, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. ‘In an increasingly open global market, it is not enough to produce excellent food and drink. We must increase efforts to communicate the standards and quality of European agricultural products to consumers. EU programmes of this kind are an effective way of helping our producers in an increasingly competitive world.’
The full list of programmes and budgets for 2011 adopted today is available in the annex.
In addition to these programmes and in light of the E. coli crisis, Commissioner Dacian Cioloş has proposed a regulatory change which will enable professional organisations to submit additional promotional programmes for fresh fruit and vegetables in the single market and in third countries by 15 August. He intends to propose an additional budget of €15 million for this initiative. These promotion campaigns could be launched by the autumn (a Commission decision is expected on 15 November 2011 on the basis of projects submitted by the Member States by 15 September). The proposed schedule will halve the usual adoption procedure associated with cofinanced programmes of this sort. Details of the practical arrangements for this initiative will be available soon.
In 2000 the Council decided that the EU could assist in financing measures that provide information on or promote agricultural products and food on the EU single market and in third countries. The total budget available for these promotion programmes is €55 million.
The measures financed can consist of public relations, promotional or publicity campaigns, in particular highlighting the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, food safety and hygiene, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environmentally-friendly production methods. These measures can also cover participation at events and fairs, information campaigns on the EU system of protected designations of origin (PDO), protected geographical indications (PGI) and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG), information on EU quality and labelling systems and organic farming, and information campaigns on the EU system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR).
The EU finances up to 50% of the cost of these measures (up to 60% in programmes promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables by children or concerning information on responsible drinking and the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption), the remainder being met by the professional/inter-branch organisations which proposed them and/or by the Member States concerned.
For promotion on the single market, interested professional organisations can submit their proposals to the Member States by 30 November each year. The Member States then send the list of programmes they have selected to the Commission along with a copy of each programme. Subsequently the Commission evaluates the programmes and decides whether they are eligible.
A second decision, on information and promotion programmes in third countries, is expected to follow towards the end of the year.