Chafea

F.A.Q

F.A.Q

Quick answer to common questions

1. Main rules of the basic act, delegated and implementing acts

1.1. Introduction and definitions

What is a promotion programme?

The EU helps the sector's professionals to finance information and promotion campaigns. By explaining to consumers and importers the standards and the quality of EU agri-food products, EU promotion programmes can help European producers in an increasingly competitive world.

A promotion programme is a coherent set of operations which can include advertising campaigns in the press, on television, on radio or on the Internet; point-of-sale promotions; public relations campaigns; participation in exhibitions and fairs, and a range of other activities. It can be a B2B campaign or B2C campaign. It shall be implemented over a period of at least one year but no more than three years.

A promotion programme shall aim to:

  • highlight the specific features of agricultural production methods in the Union, particularly in terms of food safety, traceability, authenticity, labelling, nutritional and health aspects, animal welfare, respect for the environment and sustainability, and the characteristics of agricultural and food products, particularly in terms of their quality, taste, diversity or traditions;
  • raise awareness of the authenticity of European protected designations of origin, protected geographical indication and traditional specialities guaranteed.
Why was the promotion policy reformed in 2014?

The promotion policy has been recently reformed with the adoption of Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014 which shall apply from 1 December 2015. The new promotion policy, which benefits from a more substantial budget, is intended to act as key for opening up new markets and to diversify trading partners. With the common denominator 'Enjoy, it´s from Europe', the policy aims to help the sector's professionals break into or consolidate international markets and make consumers more aware of the efforts made by European farmers. The new policy will target promotion activities with an EU added value based on a genuine strategy established at European level, bring simplification and reduce red tape.

What are the main changes compared to the previous system?

 

 

Regulation 3/2008

Regulation 1144/2014

European promotion strategy

Guidelines fixed in annex to implementing regulation and only occasionally updated.

Establishment of a promotion strategy: yearly work programme of the Commission defining strategic priorities (target groups, products, themes or target markets) and adopted as an implementing act.

Target market

No difference between internal market and third countries. In practice, proposals submitted by the sector cover:

  • Internal market: 2/3 of actions
  • Third countries: 1/3 of actions

Priority given to programmes targeting third countries.

Simple programmes in the internal market

No specification

Implemented in at least two Member States or in one Member State if different from the Member State of origin of the proposing organisation(s).
Exceptions for (1) Union quality schemes and (2) message which concerns proper dietary practices.

Eligible products and themes

Positive restrictive list in annex to implementing regulation limited to certain agricultural products listed in Annex I to the TFEU.

All agricultural products of annex I to the TFEU, excluding tobacco.
Certain transformed products, such as beer, chocolate, bread and pastry, pasta, salt, sweet corn and cotton.
Spirit drinks with geographical indication.
Fisheries products if associated to another product.
Wine associated to another product or alone if subject of a multi country programme. It must be wine with designation of origin or protected geographical indication status and wine carrying an indication of the wine grape variety.
National quality schemes.

Mention of origin and visibility of brands

Generic campaigns

Flexibility to mention brands and origin under certain conditions:
Mentioning of the origin of products:

  • on the internal market: if origin is secondary to the main campaign message
  • on third markets: possible in the main campaign message if a European message is present on the same level

Mentioning of brands:

  • only during demonstrations or tastings
  • in a banner displaying at least 5 brands.

Beneficiaries

Professional organisations

Professional organisations
Producers' organisations
Producers' groups within the meaning of Art. 3 of Reg. 1151/2012 on quality schemes.
Organisms involved in a mission of public interest in charge of promotion of agricultural products (example: Agence Bio, Chambers of agriculture)

Technical support

-

Establishment of technical support to help operators participate in co-financed programmes, prepare efficient campaigns or develop activities on export markets.

Management

Two-step selection of programmes (member state, followed by the Commission).
Programme management shared with member states.

One step selection of programmes by the Commission.

Multi country programmes directly managed by the Commission's agency Chafea.

Simple programmes in shared management with the member states.

Crisis management

Measures for sectors which face specific or temporary problems.

Mentioned in general objectives.
EU co-financing rate of 85 % for crisis programmes.
Specific arrangements in the work programme.
Possible reply via measures organised on Commission's initiative.

Co-financing rate

50 % EU + min. 20 % proposing organisation + max. 30 % MS

2 exceptions with 60 % EU rate:

  • F&V in schools
  • wine (responsible drinking patterns)

End of national co-financing.
EU co-financing rate of 70 % for simple programmes.
EU co-financing rate of 80 % for multi programmes and programmes targeting third countries.
EU co-financing rate of 85 % for crisis programmes.
5 % top on for beneficiaries from MS under financial assistance.

Evaluation and follow up

Follow-up group

Definition of global follow-up indicators

Budget

2013 : 61 M€ (1 M€ in direct management and 60 M€ in shared management)

Spending estimated to 200 M€ per year as from 2019.

The rules concerning the promotion aid scheme are in 4 different legislative texts, where could I find a more user-friendly compilation of the rules?

There are indeed several legislative acts (basic act, delegated act, implementing act and annual work programme), which is the normal legislative structure.

The applicable rules are summarised with some illustrations in a presentation available online.

What is a "simple" promotion programme and what is a "multi" promotion programme?

A simple programme is a promotion programme submitted by one or more proposing organisations from the same Member State.

A multi programme is a programme submitted by at least two proposing organisations from at least two Member States or one or more European organisations.

What should be the size of a promotion programme in terms of budget?

There is no requirement in terms of budget for a promotion programme.
 

Can you give examples of successful promotion programmes co-financed by the EU?

Some examples of past promotion programmes are available here.

1.2. Eligibility

What are the eligible products and schemes?

A promotion programme may cover the following products:

  • the products listed in Annex I to the TFEU, excluding tobacco;
  • the following processed products: beer, chocolate and derived products, bread, pastry, cakes, confectionery, biscuits and other baker’s wares, beverages made from plant extracts, pasta, salt, natural gums and resins, mustard paste, sweetcorn, cotton.
  • The spirit drinks with a protected geographical indication
  • The wine with designation of origin or protected geographical indication status and wine carrying an indication of the wine grape variety; in the case of simple programmes, wine shall be associated to one or several other products
  • The fisheries products if associated to one or several products.

A promotion programme may cover the following schemes:

  • The EU quality schemes, namely PDO (protected designation of origin), PGI (protected geographical indication) and TSG (traditional speciality guaranteed)
  • The EU logo on organic production method
  • The EU RUP logo for the outermost regions
  • National quality schemes, provided that the visuals respect the rules on origin

A programme covering a scheme may be illustrated by one or several products. In the internal market, these products shall appear in secondary message in relation to the main Union message.

Is wine eligible?

Wine with designation of origin or protected geographical indication status and wine carrying an indication of the wine grape variety is indeed eligible. Nevertheless, in the case of simple programmes, wine must be associated other products: wine and cheese for instance.

Besides, in case of promotion campaigns on wine (same goes for spirit drinks and beer) targeting the internal market, it shall be limited to informing consumers of the quality schemes or of the responsible consumption of this beverages.

What should be the content of a programme on wine, beer or spirit in the internal market?

In the internal market, with regard to spirits, wine and beer, a promotion shall be limited to (i) informing consumers of the EU quality scheme in its main message (illustrated by one or several products) or (ii) of the responsible consumption of those beverages, or (iii) both.

Are the fishery and aquaculture products eligible?

Yes, fishery and aquaculture products are eligible if listed in Annex I to Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 and if they are associated with other products.

Which proposing organisations are eligible?
  • Trade or inter-trade organisations, established in a Member State or at Union level, and representative of the sector(s) concerned in that Member State or at Union level, and groups of producers and processors active in geographical indications. A trade or inter-trade organisation shall be deemed to be representative (i)    where it accounts for at least 50% as a proportion of the number of producers, or 50 % of the volume or value of marketable production of the product(s) or sector concerned, in the Member State concerned or at Union level; but lower percentages may be accepted if justified or (ii) where it is an interbranch organisation recognised by the Member State
  • Producer organisations or associations of producer organisations that have been recognised by a Member State
  • Agri-food bodies involved in a mission of public interest in charge of promotion. Those bodies must have been legally established in the Member State in question at least two years prior to the date of the call for proposals. They shall be representative of the product/sector by means of having representatives of product/sector among its memberships (with the exception of programmes carried out after a loss of consumer confidence).

The proposing organisation shall have the necessary technical, financial and professional resources to carry out the programme effectively.

In order to boost competition and ensure the widest access possible to EU funding, a proposing organisation shall not receive support for information for the same campaign more than two consecutive occasions. This means that a campaign can last for a maximum of six years.

How can I find data on representativeness of a proposing organisation to demonstrate the 50% threshold? What if I cannot demonstrate it?

Trade organisations generally have data on the market. It is generally one of their objectives: improving knowledge and the transparency of production and the market of a sector, including by publication of aggregated statistical data on production costs, prices, etc.

There is no need to ask any national authority to certify these data. In an application for EU funding, these data shall be easy accessible (extract of studies or link with webpages, etc.).

In addition, there is a second possibility to demonstrate your representativeness. Lower thresholds may be accepted in duly justified cases, such as the structure of the market.

I am a trade organisation of producers of hop. Can I submit a proposal for a campaign on beer, even though I do not represent the final product?

According to the basic act, a trade organisation can submit a proposal provided that they are representative of the sector or product concerned by this programme. If the promotion programme concerns beer, it is up to the trade organisations of that sector to submit a proposal.

The conditions of representativeness are detailed in Article 1 of the Delegated Regulation (EU) N° 1829/2015. The criterion of 50 % of the number of producers or 50 % of volume or value of marketable production applies to the product(s) or sector concerned by the programme. Where a proposing organisation, which may be a consortium of several professional organisations, does not fulfil that condition, it could still provide proof of representativeness, pursuant to the derogation provided for in paragraph 2 of this Article.

Trade organisations of my country are organised on a regionalised basis, so that I do not reach the threshold. Can I benefit from the derogation on representativeness?

Yes, in that case, the proposing organisation will need to explain that because of the administrative organisation of its country, there are only "regional" trade organisations and that it cannot reach the 50% threshold. It shall belong to the proposing trade organisation to demonstrate that it can still be considered as representative of the product or sector concerned, due to i.e. its share in the region concerned, at Member State level, exports, etc.

What does "having the necessary technical, financial and professional resources to carry out the programme effectively" mean? Shall the beneficiary have the funds equivalent to the overall costs of the programme in its bank account?

The operational and financial capacity of an organisation will be assessed on a case-by-case basis taking into account the nature of the programme to be implemented.

Organisations can check their financial viability using the financial self-check tool available on the Participant Portal.

I am a private company, am I eligible for EU funding for promotion programmes?

No, only the proposing organisations listed above can be eligible. The promotion policy is not aimed to finance the advertising of a private company. It is designed to have generic campaigns on products or schemes benefiting to a whole sector.

I am a newcomer in the system, can I apply?

Yes, provided that you respect the conditions of eligibility. Promotion campaigns co-financed by the Union should aim at opening new markets and should be undertaken by a wider range of organisations.

In case of "Agri-food bodies involved in a mission of public interest in charge of promotion", those bodies must have been legally established in the Member State in question at least two years prior to the date of the call for proposals.

What are the main eligibility criteria of a promotion programme?

The eligibility criteria are defined in the annual work programme and in the call for proposals. Simple and multi programme need to have a Union dimension, both in terms of content of the message and impact, in particular provide information on European production standards, the quality and safety of European food products and European dietary practices and culture, promote the image of European products on the internal market and international markets, raise awareness of European products and logos among the general public and in commercial undertakings. This means in particular for a programme in the internal market covering one or more schemes (PDO-PGI-TSG, organic, Rup) to focus on the(se) scheme(s) in its main Union message, one or several products illustrated by one or several products in secondary message.

Besides, the simple programmes shall be of a significant scale, notably in terms of its foreseen measurable cross-border impact. In the internal market, this means that a programme shall be implemented in at least two Member States with a coherent share of the allocated budget, or be implemented in one Member State if that Member State is different from the Member State of origin of the proposing organisation(s). This requirement does not apply to programmes relaying a message which concerns the Union quality schemes and to programmes relaying a message which concerns proper dietary practices.

Can a programme convey a health message?

Yes, but this message shall, in the internal market, comply with the Annex to Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006, or be accepted by the national authority responsible for public health in the Member State where the operations are carried out. In third countries, it shall be accepted by the national authority responsible for public health in the country where the operations are carried out.

1.3. Financing

What are the co-financing rates?

The EU co-financing rates are significantly higher in comparison to the previous regime. The EU co-financing rate is 70 % for simple programmes, 80% for multi programmes and programmes targeting third countries, 85 % for programmes in case of serious market disturbance. There is also a 5 percentage point top-up for beneficiaries from MS under financial assistance. The rest is financed exclusively by the proposing organisation.

The national co-financing disappears thereby creating a level playing field. This means that a proposing organisation cannot receive money from the State for the promotion programme at stake.

What are the costs eligible for Union funding?

The eligible costs shall be incurred by the proposing organisation during the implementation of the programme, with the exception of the cots relating to final reports and evaluation.

The following categories of costs are eligible for Union funding:

  • costs relating to an advance guarantee provided by a bank or financial institution and lodged by the proposing organisation;
  • costs relating to external audits where such audits are required in support of the requests for payments;
  • personnel costs limited to salaries, social security charges and other costs included in the remuneration of personnel assigned to the implementation of the programme;
  • value added tax where it is not recoverable under the applicable national VAT legislation and is paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person;
  • the costs of studies to evaluate the results of promotional and information measures.

Indirect eligible costs shall be determined by applying a flat rate of 4 % of the total direct eligible personnel costs of the proposing organisation.

What is considered as double-funding?

A proposing organisation who already receives Union financing for the same information provision and promotion measures shall not be eligible for Union financing for those measures under the promotion Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014.

Can we apply for a grant which is lower than the theoretical maximum EU contribution?

It is indeed possible to apply for a grant amount which is lower than the theoretical amount calculated by applying the EU co-financing rate to the estimated total costs. It is up to the applicant to determine the amount of EU co-financing requested in its application. The reimbursement rate is fixed (70-80 %) and applied to the eligible costs submitted by the applicant up to the amount of maximum grant.

1.4. Implementation of a programme

Who can implement the programme?

For simple programmes, there is a legal requirement to implement the programme with the support of an implementing body.

The proposing organisation shall choose the bodies that will implement the programme with a view, in particular, to ensuring that measures are implemented effectively.

Nevertheless, a proposing organisation may implement certain parts of a programme itself, if the proposing organisation has at least three years’ experience in implementing information provision and promotion measures; and if the proposing organisation ensures that the cost of the measure which it plans to carry out itself is not in excess of the normal market rates.

How is the implementing body selected?

Proposing organisations must select bodies responsible for implementing the programmes through the appropriate competitive procedure ensuring best value for money. In doing so, they must avoid any situation where the impartial and objective implementation of the programme is compromised for reasons involving economic interest, political or national affinity, family or emotional ties or any other shared interest (‘conflict of interests’).

Where the proposing organisation is a body governed by public law within the meaning of Directive 2004/18/EC (or 2014/24/EU ), it must select bodies responsible for implementing simple programmes in accordance with the national legislation transposing that Directive.

If I have already a framework contract with an implementing body: could I keep this one?

Yes if the conditions set out above are respected. In other words, the existing framework contracts must have complied with best value-for-money and absence of conflict of interests at the time of their award.

Can the implementation of a programme be entrusted to a company that has been established, owned or financed by the proposing organisation?

In such cases, the obligation to avoid a conflict of interests in the selection of an implementing body could not be respected.

However, in case of entities that have a structural link with the beneficiary, in particular legal or capital link, it is foreseen that beneficiaries may entrust part of the implementation of the programme to such entities however only on a non-profit basis i.e. the contract would be limited to the costs incurred by the entity, without a profit margin. In the programme proposal, these entities will need to be identified together with the tasks entrusted and the corresponding estimation of the costs.

When should the actions start?

The starting date of the implementation of the action shall be the first day of the month following the date of entry into force of the contract/agreement; it may be postponed to up to 6 months after the date of entry into force of the agreement if in the description of the action it is so foreseen and justified, in particular to take account of the seasonality of the product concerned by the programme or participation in a specific fair or event.

Financial support may apply only to costs pertaining to the implementation of the action that have arisen after the date of signature of the grant agreement.

Exceptionally, a grant for a multi programme may be awarded for an action which has already begun only where the applicant can demonstrate in its proposal the need to start the action before the grant agreement is signed. For example, a typical case would be a situation where the applicant needs to book a space at a trade fair and pay a deposit to the fair organisers several months in advance. In such cases, costs eligible for financing may not have been incurred prior to the date of submission of the grant application. This possibility is however not foreseen for simple programmes due to a different management mode and legal basis.

1.5. Main message of a campaign

What is meant by the "main Union message" of a promotion programme?

The Union promotion scheme should supplement promotion schemes run by Member States or private sectors and should focus on a Union message. In that respect, promotion programmes co-financed by the Union should demonstrate a specific Union dimension.

The Union dimension is assessed both in terms of content of the message and impact. It shall in particular provide information on European production standards, the quality and safety of European food products and European dietary practices and culture, promote the image of European products on the internal market and international markets, raise awareness of European products and logos among the general public and in commercial undertakings.

You can find examples of a "Union message" on Europa website in past or current promotion campaigns co-financed by the EU such as "l'Europe signe les produits de ses terroirs" on PDO PGI logos, "the cheeses of Europe, make it magnifiqueLegends from Europe on PDO PGI TSG, "European quality foods – Eating with you five senses", etc.

Why and how should the signature "Enjoy, it's from Europe" be used?

The signature "Enjoy, it's from Europe" will be the common signature of all EU co-financed programmes. It will be displayed on the material of the campaign, although the signature is normally not intended to be used as the main message of the campaign.

1.6. Mention of origin

How can origin be mentioned in promotion material?

Information provision and promotion measures shall not be origin-oriented. Such measures shall not aim to encourage the consumption of a product on the sole ground of its origin. Nevertheless, it shall be possible for the origin of products to be visible on information and promotional material, subject to the following rules:

  • in the internal market, the mention of the origin must always be secondary in relation to the main Union message of the campaign.
  • in third countries, the mention of the origin may be on the same level as the main Union message of the campaign.
  • for products recognised under the quality schemes referred to in point (a) of Article 5(4), the origin registered in the denomination may be mentioned without any restriction.

The main message of the programme shall be a Union message and shall not focus on a specific origin. The main Union message of the programme shall not be obscured by material related to the origin of the product, such as pictures, colours, symbols or music.

The mention of origin on information and promotional material shall be limited to the national origin, namely the name of the Member State, or to a common supra-national and pan-European origin (such as Mediterranean, Alpine, Nordic, Baltic, etc). The mention of origin may be explicit (name of the country) or implicit (flag, logo).

Any mention of origin shall not amount to a restriction of the free movement of agricultural and food products, it shall complement the main Union message. The mention of origin shall appear in a separate area from that devoted to the main Union message.

The mention of origin on information and promotional material shall be limited to visual material. Mention of the origin shall only be made in written material. Indeed, it is impossible to have a "main" and "secondary" message in – for example - a radio spot or voice over of a video.

Can a national organic logo be displayed alongside the EU organic logo?

National quality schemes are eligible under Regulation 1144/2014. Nevertheless, if the national logo contains a reference to origin, certain conditions should be respected:

  • if it is a campaign on the internal market the national logo could only be mentioned in a manner secondary in relation to the main Union message, i.e. the EU organic logo, of the campaign;
  • if it is a campaign in third countries, the national logo could be mentioned at the same level as the main Union message of the campaign;
Why is the mention of the regional origin not allowed?

The mention of origin on information and promotional material shall indeed be limited to the national origin, namely the name of the Member State, or to a common supra-national origin.

Allowing the mention of origin should not undermine the EU policy of quality schemes (PDO, PGI, TSG, RUP). If the mention of a local origin was allowed for a product which does not have an EU quality logo, it would create confusion with all the EU quality policy: generic English Lamb Vs. specific Welsh Lamb PGI for instance. The whole policy on quality logos would then be weakened. To limit this problem, only the national origin can be mentioned.

Nevertheless, a regional origin can be mentioned if it is in the logo of a national quality scheme, provided that it respects the rules on origin defined in the basic act (in a secondary message compared to the main Union message of the campaign, at the same level as the main Union message).

What will be eligible as pan-European origin?

The mention of origin on information and promotional material can indeed also refer to a common supra-national origin (such as Mediterranean, Alpine, Nordic, Baltic, etc). It shall correspond to a large pan-European geographical area which comprises several Member States. Nevertheless, smaller cross border regions (Limburg, Flanders, Thrace, etc.) are not eligible, in the sense that they do not constitute a sufficiently wide pan-European reference; and their mention could also create confusion with the names of regional EU quality schemes.

1.7. Mention of brands

How can brands be mentioned?

Information provision and promotion measures shall not be brand-oriented. Nevertheless, it shall be possible for commercial brands of promoted products of the proposing organisations to be visible during demonstrations or tastings and on the printed information and promotional material displayed or distributed during demonstrations and tastings, provided that the principle of non-discrimination is respected and that the overall, non-brand-oriented nature of the measures remains unchanged. The principle of non-discrimination shall ensure equal treatment and access for all brands of the proposing organisation. It means that the proposing organisation shall keep evidence that all members of the proposing organisation concerned have been given an equal opportunity to display their brands. Each brand shall be equally visible and its graphic presentation shall use a separate and smaller format than the main Union message of the campaign. A minimum of 5 brands shall be displayed, except in duly justified circumstances pertaining to the specific situation of the Member States concerned.

During demonstrations and tastings, brands may only be displayed:

  • together in a banner located on the front of the counter of the stand or equivalent support. That banner shall not exceed 5% of the total surface area of the front of the counter of the stand or equivalent support; or
  • individually, in separate and identical booths in a neutral and identical way, on the front of the counter of the booth or equivalent support for each brand. In that case, the display of the brand name shall not exceed 5% of the total surface area of the front of the counter of the booth or equivalent support.
  • On the printed material distributed during demonstrations or tastings, brands may only be displayed together in a banner at the bottom of the page which shall not exceed 5% of the total surface area of that page.
  • For websites, brands may only be displayed together in either of the following two ways:
  • in a banner located at the bottom of the webpage, which shall not exceed 5% of the total surface area of the webpage, where each brand shall be smaller than the emblem of the Union referring to the co-financing of the Union;
  • on a dedicated webpage distinct from the home page, in a neutral and identical way for each brand.
The rules on brands are quite strict: Why imposing a minimum of 5 brands together and not less? Why only 5 % of the surface dedicated to brands?

A minimum of five brands shall be displayed, so that the promotion campaign remains a generic campaign and not an advertising campaign for a limited number of private companies. It is nevertheless possible to display less than five brands if there are fewer brands in the Member State of origin of the proposing organisation for the product or scheme subject of the programme; and if it has not been possible to organize a multi–product or multi-country programme permitting more brands to be displayed.

Similarly, in order to guarantee that the display of brands will not weaken or divert the main European message, it is important to fix a maximum percentage of 5 % for the surface of communication dedicated to brands.

These requirements guarantee the fundamental principle of the basic act stating that promotion programmes should not be brand-oriented.

1.8. What is the technical support?

What is the technical support?

The Commission intends to develop technical support services, in particular with a view to:

  • encouraging awareness of different markets by providing country, market research and statistical reports on key target countries listed in the annual work programme,
  • maintaining a dynamic professional network around information and promotion policy, including providing advice to the sector and best practices,
  • improving knowledge of Union rules concerning programme development and implementation, mainly by providing adequate information online, organising or participating in events and fostering the development of a network of agro-food operators with the aim of helping operators to take part in co- financed programmes, to conduct effective campaigns or to develop their export activities.
2. Application, Selection and Management of programmes

2.1. Application

How can I apply?

The application should be done online via the dedicated portal. The potential beneficiary should register and get a Participant Identification Code (PIC).

A guide for applicants will be provided for each call for proposals with all practical details. To get more familiar with the portal and those rules, it is advised to check the existing guidance documents.

Is it possible to submit a programme electronically?

Yes, the programme proposal will be submitted only electronically. The application form will comprise two parts.

The first part is the standardized part that includes administrative information. As the name says, the proposing organisation will be filling in predetermined check boxes, drop down lists, etc.

The second part is the technical annex. This will be a pdf document the proposing organisation will be submitting to describe the proposal following a standard template with specific sections describing the objectives, the Union dimension, the actions foreseen, the budget, etc.

In which language can a programme be submitted?

In principle, project proposal applications may be submitted in any official language of the European Union. However:

  • For multi programmes: applicants are encouraged to submit their proposal in English to facilitate processing of the application including its review by independent experts who provide technical input to the evaluation. In addition, applicants should be aware that Chafea will, in principle, use English to communicate with beneficiaries regarding the follow up and the monitoring of the co- financed actions (grant management stage).
  • For simple programmes: applicants should take into account that contracts will be managed by the Member States. Consequently, applicants are encouraged to submit their proposal in the language(s) of the Member State of origin of the proposing organisation(s) unless if the Member State concerned has indicated its agreement to sign the contract in English1.

In addition, if the technical part of the application is written in another EU official language than English, it should also include an English translation in order to facilitate assessment by the evaluators.

1 This information is available here.

Can I contact my national Ministry for advice and information?

Yes. Member States are not involved anymore in the selection procedure, but they are in charge of the management of simple promotion programmes. Thanks to their expertise, they may have a role of adviser in the conception of the programme for proposing organisation (for both simple and multi programmes) or share best practices from previous programmes. Their contact details are available in the list of competent national authorities.

My proposing organisation has a weak financial capacity. Can the financial capacity be proven by our members?

Financial standing of entities which do not have the legal status of (co)applicants may not serve as an element to assess the financial capacity of applicants. Nevertheless, a weak financial capacity of an applicant should not prevent it from submitting a proposal.

All applicants are invited to run a financial viability self-check and to address the results of this check in section 8 of the technical proposal. In particular, if the result of such self-check is "weak", they shall explain how the liquidity will be provided (in addition to pre-financing).

Shall we appoint and have a validated LEAR (Legal Entity appointed representative) before the submission of our application?

The appointment of a LEAR is not necessary at the submission stage. In order to complete the registration process, applicants only need to provide the information requested in sections "Organisation data", "Legal address" and "Contact information". The LEAR will be validated only for multi programmes which are selected for co-financing.

2.2. Selection

How are simple programmes and multi programmes selected and managed?

The Commission will evaluate and select simple and multi programme proposals received in response to the call of proposals.

What are the main award criteria?

The award criteria are defined in the annual work programme and in the call for proposals. To be assessed against the award criteria, the proposals shall meet the eligibility, exclusion and selection (e.g. stable and sufficient sources of funding) criteria.

3 independent experts will examine the proposal following award criteria defined in the annual work programme.

For the call for proposals, the following award criteria will be applied to assess the proposals:

1. Union dimension: 

a) Relevance of proposed information and promotion measures to the general and specific objectives listed in Article 2 of Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014, aims listed in Article 3 of that Regulation, as well as to priorities, objectives and expected results announced under the relevant thematic priority
b) Union message of the campaign
c) Impact of project at Union level 

2. Technical quality of the project

a) Quality and relevance of the market analysis
b) Suitability of the programme strategy, objectives, and key messages;
c) Suitable choice of activities with respect to objectives and programme strategy, balanced communication mix, synergy between activities;
d) Concise description of activities;
e) Quality of the proposed evaluation methods and indicators.

3. Management quality

a) Project organisation and management structure;
b) Quality control mechanisms and risk management.

4. Budget and cost-effectiveness

a) Return on investment
b) Suitable split of budget in relation to the objectives and scope of the activities;
c) Consistency between the estimated costs and deliverables;
d) Realistic estimation of person/days for activities implemented by the proposing organisation, including costs of project coordination.

A separate ranking list shall be established for each priority topic listed in the annual work programme.

2.3. Management (payment, control, reporting)

How are simple programmes and multi programmes managed?

Once selected, the simple programmes will be managed in shared management with the Member States. Multi programmes will be managed under direct management by the Commission's executive agency Chafea. This management via a one-stop shop at the Commission (executive agency) will facilitate the management of multi programmes which are generally more difficult to coordinate via Member States, as beneficiaries are located in several countries.

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work programme

Selection and management of simple and multi programmes

What is the role of Chafea?

The Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency is an executive agency of the European Commission. It is based in Luxembourg. It is entrusted by the European Commission with the management of some of the phases of the programme implementation, including the publication of calls for proposals, reception and evaluation of proposals, the preparation and signature of grant agreements for multi programmes and the monitoring of their implementation.

Why do the implementing and delegated acts mainly refer to simple programme and not multi programmes?

Simple programmes are to be implemented in shared management with the Member States, in accordance with of the rules established in the basic act, delegated and implementing acts, and the horizontal financial rules established in Regulation (EU) N° 1306/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Multi programmes are to be managed under direct management rules in accordance with the Financial Regulation (EU, Euratom) N° 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council. Therefore, for multi programmes, it is the Financial Regulation which applies.

As the same proposing organisation could have both simple and multi programmes, the implementation rules for both programmes should differ as little as possible.

To that end, simple programmes will be subject to rules that are equivalent to the provisions of the Financial Regulation concerning grants which apply to multi-programmes. For example, the requirement to lodge a security to ensure satisfactory performance of the contract required under Regulation (EC) N° 3/2008 has been deleted.

When should the contracts be signed?

For simple programmes, Member States shall conclude contracts for the implementation of programmes with the selected proposing organisations within 90 calendar days of the notification of the Commission act selecting programmes (provided that the implementing bodies have correctly been selected). Beyond that deadline, no contracts may be concluded without prior authorisation from the Commission.

The same deadline applies for multi programmes: for signing grant agreements with proposing organisations, a maximum of three month deadline applies from the date of informing proposing organisations that they have been successful.

Can we delay the start of implementation of the programme?

The starting date of the implementation of the programme shall normally be the first day of the month following the date of signature of the contract. However, the starting date may be postponed for up to 6 months, in particular to take into account the seasonality of the product concerned by the programme or participation in a specific event or fair. This should be justified in the programme proposal.

What is the rhythm of payments?

The proposing organisations will submit a payment request to the Member State for simple programmes and to the Agency in case of multi programmes.

Within 30 days from the date that the contract has been signed for simple programmes, the proposing organisation may submit an application for an advance payment of up to 20 % of the maximum Union financial contribution, together with a security.

For multi programmes, no application for an advance payment would be needed; moreover, the security for the advance payment is required only when it is considered necessary to limit financial risks connected with this payment.

For both simple and multi programmes, requests for an interim payment shall be normally submitted by the proposing organisation within 60 days from the date on which the implementation of a year of the programme has been completed. Such requests shall cover the eligible costs incurred during the year concerned and shall be accompanied by an interim report comprising a periodic financial report and a periodic technical report.

Requests for payment of the balance shall be submitted by the proposing organisation within 90 days of the completion of the programme. The request shall be accompanied by the interim report for the last reporting period and the final financial and technical reports.

Who is in charge of the controls and when?

The controls of the implementation of the programmes will be made by the Member States for simple programmes, and by Chafea or the Commission for multi programmes.

Administrative checks will be done for each payment request. In addition, there will be on-the-spot checks (technical and accounting checks) at the premises of the proposing organisation and, if appropriate, of the implementing body. There will be at least one on-the-spot check during its implementation between the first interim payment and the payment of the balance.

In addition, for simple programmes, the procedure to select the implementing bodies will be checked by the Member States before the signature of the contract.

For multi programmes, Chafea or the Commission checks the proper implementation of the programme and compliance with the obligations under the grant agreement, including assessing deliverables and reports.

Should eligible VAT be included in the estimated budget for the proposed programme?

Value added tax (‘VAT’) where it is not recoverable under the applicable national VAT legislation and is paid by a beneficiary other than a non-taxable person is considered as eligible cost (cf. Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2015/1829).

Therefore the costs that are estimated in the budget for the proposed programme should include the non-deductible VAT which the beneficiary will have to bear. The 'opposite' is also true: if a beneficiary can recover the VAT, the latter is not eligible thus should not be included in the estimated budget.

What if a programme is proposed by proposing organisations which have a different VAT status?

A proposal for a campaign that is proposed by several proposing organisations should include the estimate budget that shows the costs of each beneficiary participating in the programme. The application for payments should be accompanied by interim reports which inter alia include individual financial statement for each beneficiary detailing the eligible costs for the period concerned (cf. Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2015/1831).

Therefore a beneficiary that cannot recover the VAT should include it in the declared costs; on the contrary, recoverable VAT is not eligible thus the beneficiary should not include it when declaring costs.

How is the impact of the programmes assessed?

In order to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of information and promotion programmes, performances indicators for the evaluation of the programmes shall be established in the programme proposal.

These performance indicators include output indicators (such as number of events organised, number of spots aired on TV/radio or published print), result indicators (such as number of professionals/experts/importers/consumers who participated in events who were reached by a TV/radio spot/print or online add, number of visitors on the website or likes on their Facebook-site) and impact indicators (such as sales trends of the sector, value and volume of Union exports of the product promoted; change in the Union products market share; change in the level of recognition of the logos of the Union quality schemes).

A final study evaluating the results of the promotion programme shall be undertaken by an independent external body, using the indicators set in the programme.

What is the role of a coordinator?

When a programme involves more than one beneficiary, the participating beneficiaries shall nominate among them a coordinator i.e. the beneficiary that will be the central contact point for the Member State or Agency.

The coordinator shall assume to:

  • act as the intermediary for all communications between the beneficiaries and the Member State or Agency;
  • monitor that the programme is properly implemented;
  • submit the deliverables and the reports (periodic and final);
  • provide a pre-financing guarantee for the advance payment lodged by the beneficiaries involved in the case of a simple programme. For multi-programmes, Chafea may require a guarantee if it estimates that a guarantee is necessary to limit the risks linked to pre-financing;
  • request and review any documents or information required by the Member State or Agency and verify their completeness and correctness before passing them on to the Member State or Agency;
  • ensure that the payments are made to the other beneficiaries without unjustified delay.

The Grant Agreement includes provisions on the roles and responsibilities of the coordinator and other participating beneficiaries. The Grant Agreement also requires that participating beneficiaries conclude ‘consortium agreement’ i.e. internal arrangements with regard to operation and coordination between participants in order to ensure proper implementation of the programme.

3. Annual Work Programme for 2017

3.1. Definition

What is the goal of the annual work programme?

The annual work programme is a tool to have a dynamic and targeted promotion policy, aligned with the needs of the sector.

The objective of the annual work programme is to define strategic priorities for the promotion policy in terms of populations, products, schemes or markets to be targeted and the nature of the information and promotion messages to be imparted.

The establishment of strategic priorities for the promotion policy was a recommendation of the European Court of auditors, in order to avoid a dispersion of resources and to increase Europe’s visibility through these information provision and promotion measures.

3.2. Timing

How will the AWP programme be implemented and when?

The work programme will be implemented through the publication of the calls for proposals for simple and multi programmes in early 2017 with the aim to select promotion campaigns for funding. The timetable will be detailed in the call. The figure below gives an indicative calendar for the selection procedure.

Indicative timeline:

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Indicative timeline
The 3 month deadline is quite short to prepare and submit a proposal?

The launch of the call is a technical starting point from which applications can be submitted.

The priorities to be targeted are known well in advance to the call; the annual work programme was adopted in November 2016 and discussed with Member States and stakeholders in full transparency as from May 2016.

Workshops have been organised in almost all Member States to inform potential beneficiaries of the opportunities offered by the new promotion policy.

3.3. Budget

Why is the amount foreseen for multi programmes lower than for simple programmes in 2017?

Simple programmes are financed through non-differentiated appropriations. The call for proposals for 2017 will only be implemented in the following years and therefore, the related expenditure will occur starting from 2018, together with the first declaration of the Member States. Appropriations under the 2017 budget will be used for paying promotion projects and campaigns from earlier years.

Multi programmes are financed through differentiated appropriations. As such, the budgeted commitments in a given year cover the total Union contribution for the programmes selected throughout their whole duration. For 2017, the amount is 43M€.

The amount allocated for multi programmes will increase significantly up to around 100 million as from 2019.

How to present the budget of the proposal? How can we present the fees of implementing bodies in the budgetary table?

All costs relating to implementation of tasks by the implementing bodies should be presented in the column "Direct costs of subcontracting". Implementing body fee can be included in the cost of each activity or shown separately.

How can we present the personnel costs of the staff coordinating the project?

The cost of staff coordinating the project shall be included in section 1 -"Project coordination" of the detailed budgetary table. Such costs include, inter alia, coordination with the implementing body and the Member State/Chafea managing the contract, as well as all coordination tasks listed in Article 25.2 of the Model grant agreement in case of multi beneficiary grants.

Where can we include the overall accounting costs?

Accounting fees should be covered by indirect costs.

3.4. Priorities

How did the Commission define the priorities for the AWP of 2017?

Market priorities have been defined on the basis of the objectives of Regulation (EU) No 1144/2014 which is to increase the number of activities aimed at third countries where there is the highest potential of growth and, in the internal market, inform consumers about the high standards of EU products and the EU quality schemes. The Commission consulted the Member States and also received many contributions from stakeholders, consulted through the Civil Dialogue Group on Quality and Promotion. For third countries, DG AGRI conducted a macro-economic analysis on projected increase in imports, peered with imports' growth potential, as well as a policy evaluation on Free Trade Agreements and expected removal of sanitary and phyto-sanitary barriers. The Commission also took into consideration the difficult situation of the milk, pig meat and beef sectors.

With a total of 133 M€ available for promotion programmes in 2017, the EU will helps the sectors' professionals to finance information and promotion campaigns to gain new markets in an increasingly competitive world.

What are the priorities in 2017?

 

Mio EUR

SIMPLE PROGRAMMES in Internal Market

22.5

TOPIC 1. Quality Schemes

12.375

TOPIC 2. Generic

10.125

SIMPLE PROGRAMMES in Third Countries

63

TOPIC 3. China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, South East Asia, India

14.75

TOPIC 4. USA Canada Mexico

11.6

TOPIC 5. Africa, Middle East and Turkey

8.45

TOPIC 6. Other Regions

11.6

TOPIC 7. Dairy and Pigmeat

12.6

TOPIC 8. Beef

4

Market disturbance/additional call for proposals

4.5

Total SIMPLE

90

MULTI PROGRAMMES

Mio EUR

TOPIC A. Programmes increasing the awareness of sustainable agriculture and the role of agriculture for climate action on the internal market.

15.05

TOPIC B. Information on EU quality schemes (Internal market and third countries)

15.05

TOPIC C. Programmes highlighting the specific features of agricultural methods in the Union and the characteristics of EU agrifood products (Internal market and third countries)

12.9

Total MULTI

43

TOTAL SIMPLE and MULTI PROGRAMMES

133

Why is the emphasis put on external markets?

Over the period 2001-2011, only 30 % of the budget earmarked for information provision and promotion measures was spent on measures targeting third country markets, even though those markets offer major growth potential. Arrangements are therefore needed in order to encourage a larger number of information provision and promotion measures for Union agricultural products in third countries, focusing not only on the capitals of these countries but also on other cities. This is why the annual work programme allocates around 70% of the budget to simple information and promotion programmes in third countries.

How did the Commission establish the list of priority countries for external markets?

In order to define priorities for third markets, the Commission's services made a macro-economic analysis on projected increase in imports on existing or emerging markets, peered with imports' growth potential. The macro-economic results were crossed with a policy evaluation on Free Trade Agreements and expected removal of sanitary and phyto-sanitary barriers. In view of diversifying Union exports, the number of co-financed promotion programmes currently in operation per geographical areas was also considered. According to this analysis, the most encouraging markets are considered to be the following: (i) China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, South East Asia, India; (ii) USA, Canada, Mexico; (iii) Africa, Middle East, Iran, Turkey.

In the internal market, why is the emphasis put on GI and organic?

Information and promotion programmes targeting Union quality schemes should be a key priority in the internal market: they will improve the visibility and understanding of EU policy. Such schemes provide consumers with assurance on the quality and characteristics of the product or the production process used, and enhance their market opportunities.

One of the expected results is to increase the levels of recognition of the logo associated with the Union quality schemes by the European consumers knowing that, according to special Eurobarometer (n°440), only 20 % of European consumers recognise the logos of products that benefit from a protected designation of origin (PDO), 17% for a protected geographical indication (PGI) and 15% for the Traditional Specialty Guaranteed, these being the main Union quality schemes. In addition, only 23% of European consumers recognise the logo of organic farming.

Why dedicated amounts for dairy, pig meat and beef products?

The promotion policy is a useful tool in supporting farmers in their endeavours conquering new markets, gain market shares and increase exports with the view, on the mid-term, to restore the market situation. Promotional programmes will therefore help producers to address market imbalances, and to create new market opportunities, notably in third countries.

In order to react to the difficult situation faced by these sectors, the Commission decided to provide for a special amount of 12.6 M€ for dairy and pig meat, and 4 M€ for beef for simple promotion programmes in third countries.

By singling out dairy/pig meat and beef promotion, these sectors also have the significant advantage that the envelope is ring-fenced: these promotion campaigns are no longer in competition for funding with projects from other sectors. At the same time, other sectors will indirectly also benefit as they will not be in competition with programmes regarding dairy/ pig meat and beef.

What does "Programmes increasing the awareness of sustainable agriculture and the role of agriculture for climate action on the internal market" under Topic A mean?

Actions should highlight the environmental sustainability of Union Agriculture, stressing its beneficial role for climate action and the environment.

Actions should address how the product(s) promoted and its/their production method(s) contribute to:

(a) climate change mitigation (e.g. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions) and/or adaptation (e.g. water savings, climate-resistant crops & varieties) and;

(b) at least one of the following:

(i) biodiversity conservation and sustainable use (e.g. wildlife, landscape, genetic resources);

(ii) sustainable water management (e.g. water use efficiency, reduction of nutrients or pesticides load);

(iii) sustainable soil management (e.g. erosion control; nutrient balance; prevention of acidification, salinization).

Campaigns under that topic should not address Union organic production method as the main message.

This topic is open to all eligible agri-food products, for instance cereals, fruits or vegetables produced with crop rotation, intercropping, natural pest predators, practicing water conservation and sustainable irrigation, producing or making use of renewable energy, protecting soil and the organic content; meat or dairy products produced with extensive livestock, etc.

3.5. Annual work programme in practice

Is it possible to submit a programme on dairy or pig meat outside the earmarked 12.6M?

It is indeed possible to submit a programme on dairy and/or pig meat outside the dedicated topic earmarked for to these sectors. In that case, the programmes covering milk/dairy products, pig meat products or a combination of those two shall be associated with other agri-food products.

What if a programme wishes to target several of the prioritised geographical areas?

There shall be one application per topic. In case a proposing organisation wishes to target several of the prioritised regions in third countries in one programme, it should therefore submit several applications (one application per topic).

What is meant by internal market? Is Norway or Switzerland considered as part of the internal market?

Internal market means the 28 Member States of the EU. EFTA countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) are not part of the internal market.

My programme will target 3 prioritised geographical areas, and I will submit 3 applications. How should I display the common costs?

The programme proposals are to include the estimate of the costs of the actions. If the proposal is accepted, the contract determines ''the maximum grant amount' which cannot be (latter) exceeded or increased even if the eligible costs of the action are higher than planned. One has to bear in mind that the proposing organisation could claim for the reimbursement of the actual costs only, inter alia, that they were actually incurred by the beneficiary during the implementation of the programme subject of the contract. Moreover, Art 10 of Regulation n°1144/2014 prohibits double funding.

In practice, if an applicant submits more than 1 programme proposal that contain 'common costs' it would be thus appropriate that each proposal includes the 'common costs' in full. In case all proposals were accepted, the proposing organisation would then claim the common costs only once.

3.6. Flexibility between the amounts per topic

Is there flexibility between the amounts per topic?

There is a large budgetary flexibility within each type of programmes - simple and multi. If for a given topic there are not enough proposals on the ranked list to consume the whole indicative amount, the remaining amount may be reallocated to other topics according to criteria announced in the work programme.

What are the criteria for reallocation of amounts which have not been used within the simple programmes?

If for a given topic there are not enough proposals on the ranked list to exhaust the whole foreseen amount, the remaining amount may be reallocated to other topics according to the following criteria:

  • The total of the remaining foreseen amount for the two topics on the internal market shall be allocated to the projects targeting the internal market with the highest quality score, irrespective of the topic for which they have applied.
  • The same approach shall be taken for proposals targeting third countries.
  • If the foreseen amount is still not exhausted, the remaining amounts for both internal market and third countries shall be merged and assigned to projects with the highest quality score, irrespective of the priority and topic for which they have applied.

The order of the ranked lists will be strictly followed.

What are the criteria for reallocation of amounts which have not been used within the multi programmes?

If for a given topic there are not enough proposals on the ranked list to exhaust the whole foreseen amount, the remaining amount may be reallocated to other topics according to the following criterion: The total of the remaining foreseen amount for all three topics shall be merged and assigned to projects with the highest quality score, irrespective of the topic for which they have applied

The order of the ranked lists will be strictly followed.

3.7. Serious market disturbance

What happens in case of an unexpected crisis in 2017?

In case of an unexpected serious market disturbance, loss of consumer confidence or other specific problems, the Commission could launch, under certain conditions, an additional call for proposals dedicated to the selection of simple programmes to react to a potential serious disturbance, with a reserved amount of € 4.5 million and a co-financing rate of 85%.

These actions are limited to simple programmes which require less time to be established and are therefore more suitable measures to help restore consumer confidence and the normal market conditions.

3.8. Results of 2016 calls for proposals

What was the outcome of the 2016 calls for proposals?

Some interesting statistics can be found here. The Commission received a total of 226 proposals (199 for simple programmes and 27 for multi programmes).

The selected campaigns, 60 of them being single programmes (for an available budget of 97 million) and 6 multi programmes (for an available budget of 16.8 million) show a more diverse and broader outreach than ever. Indeed, they cover 32 third countries, compared with 23 in 2015, 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%).

Moreover, almost 50% of the selected projects were submitted by proposing organisations which have never benefited from promotion funding in the past.

Besides, 84% of the applicants were very satisfied or satisfied with the Electronic proposal submission system.