The Flemish Center for Agricultural and Fisheries Marketing (VLAM) has presented its marketing plan for the year 2019. Next year's annual program has a budget of EUR27 million. This budget is similar to that of the 2018 program.
VLAM's resources come mainly from the business sector (61%). These are supplemented by a subsidy from the Flemish government (20%) and the EU (19%). This money is to be used for specific projects. For the first time, the EU and Flemish subsidies come to almost the same amount. In 2014, the European Union's contribution to VLAM's financing was still only 6%.
Just as in previous years, VLAM will organize focused marketing campaigns. These will be held locally as well as overseas for as many as eleven sectors. The budget for overseas and local promotions is just about the same. The amount allocated does, however, differ from sector to sector. This follows on from each sector's strategic choices.
Focus on local production and sustainability
In 2019, VLAM wants to bring even more attention to the origin of the products being promoted. There will also be more focus on communication about sustainability aspects. The steps that the Flemish agricultural, horticultural, and fisheries sectors will take regarding this, will be further discussed.
All food campaigns are pre-tested against Belgium's general nutritional recommendations. The campaigns must recommend a healthy, varied consumption pattern. All the promoted products must have a place in these campaigns.
Income from European subsidies gaining importance
VLAM has invested heavily in the development of European partnerships in recent years. In 2019, no fewer than 16 programs will enjoy European co-financing. Some of these will be with other member countries. Thanks to this European support, VLAM can do even more market diversification for their sectors in 2019. This is the case for the meat, poultry, fruit and vegetables, as well as the dairy sectors.
VLAM is using a wide range of channels and instruments to carry out its promotion assignment. Online communication will become even more important in 2019. VLAM wants to makes its products more visible at sales points, in the catering industry, and the food services sector. These are just a few outlines of VLAM's plans for 2019. All the sector programs are clearly laid out on www.vlam.be.