It was announced that the agri-food sector would receive €133 million for promotional activities next year from the EU, compared to the €111m it received this year. The funding will help EU agricultural products find new markets outside of the Union.
Several products will be co-funded with the cash, most of which will target third countries and regions, including: China; the Middle East; North America; South-East Asia; and Japan. Meat will receive the second highest amount of focus, with 17% of the campaign devoted to it. At 30%, fruits and vegetables will be the most heavily advertised.
“I welcome these new programmes, especially in the context of the recent market difficulties,” said EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan. “I was just now travelling in Asia as part of our efforts to boost agri-food exports and I am struck by the interest being shown by importers and consumers in this part of the world.
“The further expansion of our promotion programmes next year is also particularly important as this will also help to stimulate growth and jobs in the agri-food sector. EU wide, we see that an increase in exports of €1 billion supports roughly 14,000 jobs. I am particularly pleased that this includes a new initiative to boost products from sustainable agriculture.”
A call for proposals to benefit from the 2017 budget will be launched in January at the latest. Organisations can propose their campaigns and potentially be co-financed by the European Commission at rates of 70-85%. Sixty of the selected campaigns that received funding from the 2016 budget were single programmes, while six were multi programmes (submitted by at least two proposing organisations from at least two member states or one or more European organisations). The 2016 campaigns reached 32 third countries, compared to 23 last year.
There will be a number of changes to 2017’s promotional budget compared to 2016. Aside from the €133m, there will be an additional €9.5m available for promotional activities directly managed by the European Commission, such as EU pavilions at fairs in third countries.
Roughly €63m will go to products under EU quality schemes and will also cover sectors that have been hit by market difficulties, such as beef and pork, with an extra €4.5m available for sectors facing unexpected crises.
Another new element for 2017 is an allowance worth €15m for promotional programmes that increase the awareness of sustainable agriculture and the role of agriculture and climate action on the internal market.
Dairy and pork will see a forecasted €12.6m of the funding, with beef receiving an estimated €4m.