Brussels -- The European Commission has approved 22 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The total budget of the programmes, the grand majority of which will run for a period of three years, is € 70 million, of which the EU contributes € 35 million. The selected programmes cover quality products registered and protected as PDOs (Protected Designations of Origin), PGIs (Protected Geographical Indications) and TSGs (Traditional Speciality Guaranteed), wines, meat produced under national quality schemes, organic products, milk and milk products, fresh fruit and vegetables, ornamental horticulture, honey and beekeeping products, beef, veal and pig meat, as well as quality poultry meat.
Welcoming today's decision, EU Agriculture & Rural Development Commissioner Dacian Cioloş stated today: 'I see the promotion of EU agricultural products on EU and non-EU markets as an important element of policy, especially for quality products. This is why we are preparing a new policy initiative on promotion, for publication in the coming weeks. It is clear to me that the growth in European exports of quality products can play a major role in aiding economic recovery in the EU. Indeed, I shall be travelling to Japan and South Korea next week as part of a further initiative to boost EU exports.'
The Commission received 34 applications for funding, and after evaluation has approved 22 programmes targeting the internal market (15) and the third countries (7) as part of the second wave of programme submission for year 2013. Two of the selected programmes were proposed by more than one Member State. Third countries and regions targeted are: North America, Russia, Latin America, Norway, Switzerland, Middle East, Serbia, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.
The full list of programmes and budgets adopted today is available in the annex.
Council regulation 3/2008 provides that the EU can assist in financing promotion and information measures on agricultural products on the EU single market and in third countries. The total annual budget for these programmes is around € 60 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 in some cases also by the Member States concerned. For promotion on the single market and in third countries, interested professional organisations can submit their proposals to the Member States twice a year. The Member States then send the list of proposals 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.
Fanny Dabertrand (+32 2 299 06 25)
Roger Waite (+32 2 296 14 04)