The debate on reform to the Common Agricultural Policy may be in full swing but it's business as normal at the European Commission with the body announcing this week that it has approved funding worth €19.2 million for a host of programmes across Europe to promote agricultural products within the EU internal market.
The Commission selected 20 programmes in nine Member States that cover a range of food products including fruit and vegetables, organic products, wine, cheese, milk and protected denominations of origin or geographical indications (PDI/PGI).
The move follows a decision by the Council in December 2000 to finance initiatives that provide information on, or promote, agricultural products and food in Europe.
The measures can consist of public relations, promotional or publicity actions, in particular those that highlight the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, hygiene, food safety, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environmental friendliness of their production.
Information campaigns on the EU system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR) are also among the possibilities, said the Commission this week.
Under terms of the Council decision, the EU finances 50 per cent of the cost of the intiatives, with the remainder topped up by the professional/inter-branch organisations which proposed them and/or by the Member States concerned.