The Commission has produced a draft proposal for promotion of European food and drink, including a progressive increase in funds available to help with promotional communication on EU agricultural products, from €61m in 2013 to €200m in 2020. It would also increase the co-financing rate available to member states promoting their products in other countries, from 50% to 60%, and allow labelling to specify a food product or brand’s origin, within limits.
“In a world in which consumers are increasingly aware of the safety, quality and sustainability of food production methods, European farmers and small or medium sized enterprises are in a position of strength,” said Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş.
“The European agricultural and agri-food sector is well known for the unrivalled quality of its products and its compliance with standards that are unmatched anywhere else in the world. With over €110bn worth of exports already, this is a formidable asset for boosting growth and employment within the European Union.”
Specifically, the policy aims to extend the range of products eligible for inclusion to include processed agri-food products, like pasta, which are increasingly popular, now accounting for more than two-thirds of total EU agricultural exports.
The next step for the proposal is referral to the European Parliament and Council.
FoodDrinkEurope, the trade association that represents the interests of the European food and drink industry, has welcomed the proposal.
It said in a statement: “An improved and simplified policy will raise awareness about the value and quality of European agri-food products within the EU and globally and will strengthen the competitiveness of the agricultural and food and drink sectors, thereby contributing to growth and employment.”
The Commission’s proposal is available here (pdf).