€54m of EU money is to be match-funded by trade associations and member states, to give the EU agri-food industry a €108m boost in promoting its products within and outside of Europe.
This is the second wave of funding given by the EU to the sector this year. A total of €118m was allocated by the EU for this purpose for 2015.
The support package covers a range of product categories, with particular emphasis on those affected by difficult market conditions, such as the dairy industry, and those produced within the three EU protected geographical indication (PDO, PDI and TSG) and organic schemes.
The funding is intended to finance promotional campaigns highlighting the advantages of EU produce, particularly in terms of quality, food safety, hygiene, nutrition, animal welfare and environmentally-friendly production methods.
Meet the beneficiaries
One example is the Greek canners’ association DELCOF S.A., which has been awarded just under €2.2m for a three-year campaign to consolidate the leadership position of Greek peach compote in six markets: Canada, Mexico, Bolivia, Israel, Egypt and Vietnam. The campaign, entitled ‘Have a peachy day’, will use tactics such as advertising, brochures and fairs.
Another successful bid came from the Latvian Meat Exporters Association for a three-year programme to promote fresh, refrigerated and frozen beef and pork in the target markets of China, Canada, Azerbaijan and Norway. The €615,000 grant will be spent on participation in exhibitions, organisation of trade missions and seminars emphasising the quality, diversity, safety and traceability of EU meat products.
Programmes can last between one and three years, and recipient member states are required to file annual progress reports to the Commission.
This initiative sits within the framework of Council Regulation 3/2008, which gives provision for the EU to implement information and promotional measures for agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries.
The priority areas and criteria for funding actions under the policy are set out each year. Calls for tenders are published, and trade associations representing products eligible to apply for funding can submit proposals.
Applications are evaluated by the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA), assisted by external experts, and the proposals to be co-funded are announced.
“It is not possible for individual companies to submit a proposal - only via their trade and producer associations - but companies do end up benefitting indirectly,” a Commission spokesperson told FoodNavigator.
New year, new rules
For 2016, some changes have been made to the rules governing this scheme, to make it “more efficient and transparent”.
For example, national co-funding will disappear, and there will be a wider scope of beneficiaries and eligible products.
A total of €111 million will be available for promotion programmes selected for EU co-financing in 2016, with €30 million of this earmarked for dairy and pig meat promotion.