Organisation of the sector
The Common Organisation of the Markets in fishery and aquaculture products recognises as professional organisations the following entities: producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations.
Producer organisations are officially recognised bodies set up by fishery or aquaculture producers. They are in charge of the day-to-day management of fisheries and play an essential role in running the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Organisation of the Markets as they:
- guide producers towards sustainable fishing and aquaculture, in particular by collectively managing the activities of their members
- help them match supplies with market demands, and
- support them in creating added value.
Today, more than 200 producer organisations exist in the European Union. To achieve the objectives of the Common Organisation of the markets, they may take measures to channel the supply and marketing of their members’ products, promote them through certification schemes, quality seals, geographical designations and so on. They may also promote vocational training, the use of ICTs and work towards reducing the environmental impact of the fishing or aquaculture activities of their members.
Map: Producer organisations (click on the map to open the European Atlas of the Seas)
Associations of producer organisations may also be approved by national authorities. They have a dual purpose: they play the same role as producer organisations and they also coordinate the activities of their member organisations.
Organisations of different interest groups in the fishery and aquaculture sector – known as 'inter-branch organisations' - bring together fish producers, processors and marketers to deploy measures benefiting the sector as a whole. Their aim is to improve the coordination of marketing activities and to develop measures of interest for the whole sector.
Given the shared nature of the marine resources, these professional organisations may also be set up at transnational level to coordinate the production and the marketing of certain species across several EU countries.
Tools and financial support
In light of the essential role that these professional organisations play in the delivery of the Common Fisheries Policy and of the Common Organisation of the Markets, a number of tools have been set up to support them:
- Creation or restructuring of professional organisations: The European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) can provide financial support to marketing measures that aim at creating or restructuring producer organisations, associations of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations
Production and marketing plans: To contribute to the sustainability of fishing and aquaculture activities, producer organisations and associations of producer organisations draw up production and marketing plans. These plans constitute an innovative instrument that allows the collective management of producers' activities and enables the organisations to set out measures tailored to the achievement of their objectives.
The preparation and implementation of production and marketing plans is supported by the EMFF, through a contribution that can amount to up to 3% of the annual value of the products placed on the market by the producer organisation or association.
Storage mechanism: To ensure smooth transition from market intervention mechanisms to the full implementation of production and marketing plans, the EMFF provides support to fishery producer organisation to store their products when the market demand is too low. The mechanism is triggered by a price system determined by the national authorities in consultation with producer organisations. After storage, the products are returned to the market for human consumption.
The EMFF support to this mechanism will end by 31st December 2018, when the planning of activities will be fully implemented through production and marketing plans.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1418/2013 of 17 December 2013 concerning production and marketing plans pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products.
Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 1419/2013 of 17 December 2013 concerning the recognition of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations, the extension of the rules of producer organisations and inter-branch organisations and the publication of trigger prices as provided for by Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products
Commission Recommendation of 3 March 2014 on the establishment and implementation of the Production and Marketing Plans pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1379/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the common organisation of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products