Brussels -- The European Commission has approved 33 new programmes to promote EU agricultural products in the EU and on third country markets. These programmes are worth €108 million over 3 years, half of which (€54 million) comes from the EU budget. The programmes will contribute to opening up new markets and increasing the consumption of promoted products inside and outside the EU. The measures financed can consist of different types of promotional campaigns highlighting the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, food safety and hygiene, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environmentally-friendly production methods.
EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural development Phil Hogan said: 'I welcome these new programmes, especially in the context of the recent market difficulties. Such programmes are important for establishing new market opportunities, in particular on non-EU markets, and thereby help stimulate growth and jobs in the agri-food sector.'
The selected programmes cover a wide range of product categories, notably those hit by recent market difficulties, such as dairy products, but also meat, fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, quality products (namely those protected under the three EU geographical indications' schemes) as well as olive oil and organic produce.
Out of the 33 selected programmes, 20 target the internal market and 13 target third countries and regions: China, Middle East, North America, South-East Asia, Japan, South Korea, Africa, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Australia, Norway, and the non-EU Balkan countries. This represents the continuation of the trend of promoting EU products on third country markets which was set with the approved programmes during the first promotion wave of 2015. Moreover, two of the accepted programmes are so-called multi-programmes which are programmes from organisations located in different Member States that jointly carry out a promotion campaign. In the context of the reformed promotion policy entering into force as of 1 December, this type of promotion campaign will be even more encouraged. The full list of programmes and budgets adopted today is available in the annex.
The amount of €54 million for promotion activities from the EU budget is part of €118 million package allocated by the EU in 2015. Today's programmes will constitute the final wave of programmes under the 'old' system (Regulation 3/2008). From December 1, the new promotion rules will introduce a number of important changes (including a wider scope of beneficiaries and eligible products, procedural changes, the introduction of an annual work programme and calls for proposals and an increase of budget and EU co-financing rates) and a budget of €111 million for 2016.