The EC has launched a green paper to lead debate for an agricultural sector facing ever-tighter regulations in the face of food scares and other concerns.
"To protect the health of our consumers farmers in Europe face stricter rules on food safety, environmental conditions, and animal welfare than their competitors elsewhere in the world,” said EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development, Dacian Cioloș.
“The European agriculture industry needs an ambitious and effective promotion policy which highlights the added-value of the sector. It is also important for European jobs and growth that the EU agri-food sector can improve its position on traditional and emerging markets. We therefore need to consider how best to adapt our schemes to support this goal."
All stakeholders from consumers, producers, distributors and ‘official authorities’ are invited to submit comments by September 30, 2011. More information about that can be found here.
At the conclusion of that process the EC will publish a draft at some point in 2012, leading toward legislative proposals.
The Green Paper is divided into four sections:
- the European added-value of this policy
- objectives and measures to use on the internal EU market, including on local and regional markets
- objectives and measures to use on world markets
- broader questions on the content and management of the policy.
The EU spent €47.4m on agri-food information in 2010, down from €50.6m in 2007.
Between 2006 and 2010, 190 programmes were approved, mostly 3-year schemes, worth a total of €259.4mm with 59% of applications rejected over the that period.