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European Commission increases budget for promoting ag products

The European Commission adopted the 2017 promotion strategy for EU agricultural products with a total budget of €133 million, compared to the €111 million available for 2016. This amount will co-finance several programmes, most of which will target third countries and regions, including China, Middle East, North America, South-East Asia and Japan. This orientation supports the momentum launched earlier this year by Commissioner Hogan's diplomatic offensive to find new markets and support consumption of EU products abroad.



Returning from his business mission to Vietnam and Indonesia, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Phil Hogan said: "I welcome these new programmes, especially in the context of the recent market difficulties. 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 promotion budget will be launched in January 2017 at the latest. Proposing organisations can apply and their campaigns, usually rolling over three years, will be co-financed by the European Commission at rates of 70-85%.

The 2017 budget represents a clear increase compared with the €111 million from this year, outlining the support provided to EU agri-food producers. The 2016 promotion campaign is successfully following its course as the final beneficiaries were selected and will be in a position to get their campaigns started early next year. The selected campaigns, 60 of them being single programmes and 6 multi programmes show a more diverse and broader outreach than ever. They cover 32 third countries, compared with 23 last year, and within the two major destinations, the USA and China, they go well beyond the most targeted areas of New York and Beijing. The products which will be the most advertised in the campaigns are fruits and vegetables (30% of the programmes), followed by meat (17%) and dairy products (15%).

An infographic of the EU promotion policy is available here.

Copa & Cogeca welcome initiatives
Copa & Cogeca Secretary-General, Pekka Pesonen, said, “We see the missions to these countries which have good growth potential as an excellent way to promote our produce and increase awareness of the high standards we meet. It also gives us a better understanding of the markets outside Europe. The programme included political meetings as well as with traders and industry. Already, we have seen new demands for our produce from importers as a result of our last missions to Mexico, Columbia, China and Japan and we expect further moves here. EU farmers and agri-cooperatives will continue to be strongly committed to these missions in the future”.

“The new streamlined EU promotion policy for agri-food products came into force in December 2015 to help the EU diversify into new markets, enhance competitiveness, raise awareness of high quality European products. Some projects submitted by our members have been approved for 2016. Learning from the experience of the first call, we will continue to actively promote and participate in the call for proposal for 2017 promotion projects to be launched in January 2017. But to ensure wider approval of our proposed projects and of the different agricultural sectors, we call for support and advice from the EU Commission and the Consumer, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) on how best to make applications for the projects to the benefit of the EU agricultural sector and the EU economy as a whole”, he added.

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