Promotion campaigns about EU farm products are designed to open up new market opportunities for EU farmers and the wider food industry, as well as helping them build their existing business.
There are two kinds of promotion action:
- those run by European trade or inter-trade associations and co-financed by the EU;
- those run directly by the EU itself, such as diplomatic offensives by the Commissioner in non-EU countries to develop agri-food trade, or participation in fairs and communication campaigns.
Promotion policy rules set out how EU funding can be used for information and promotion initiatives in both EU countries and countries outside the EU.
Annual work programme
The European Commission is allocating €182.9 million in 2021 to fund promotion activities for EU agri-food products at home and abroad.
The 2021 work programme focuses on campaigns that are in line with the ambitions of the European Green Deal. Almost half of the budget (€86 million) will go towards campaigns that promote organic products, EU sustainable agriculture, and the role of the agri-food sector in terms of climate action and the environment. Campaigns will also highlight the high safety standards of EU agri-food products, as well as the diverse and traditional range of products supported by EU quality schemes.
Campaigns aimed at non-EU countries are set on markets with high-growth potential, such as Japan, South Korea, Canada and Mexico. Eligible sectors include dairy and cheese, olive oil and wines.
Promotion campaigns in practice
The Commission defines the strategic priorities for promoting EU farm products and the funding criteria in an annual work programme outlining products and possible markets.
The European Research Executive Agency (REA) puts this strategic policy into practice on behalf of the Commission.
It does this by:
- publishing calls for proposals and evaluating proposals;
- awarding grants and managing grant agreements for so-called multi programmes (that involve at least two organisations from at least two EU countries or one or more EU institutions);
- organising events and communication campaigns both inside and outside the EU.
The Commission adopts a decision to select simple programmes based on the ranking of the proposals established by REA.
Simple programmes involve one or more organisations from the same EU country. They are managed by national administrations.
Report on promotion policy for agricultural products
The EU's report details the implementation of the promotion policy of agricultural products in both EU and non-EU countries. Some specific objectives of the policy include increasing the competitiveness and consumption of EU agricultural products, as well as raising awareness and recognition of EU quality schemes.
The findings of the report are derived from a number of sources, including the statistics on applications and grants awarded for promotion programmes, the participation in high level missions since 2016, and feedback from evaluation questionnaires. The findings indicate that:
- the implementation of promotion policy for agri-food products has been consistent with its objectives;
- fruit and vegetables were the main product category benefitting from promotion policy co-funding;
- the promotion policy will be a key instrument to support the transition towards a more sustainable agricultural sector.
This report follows an evaluation of the implementation of the policy and will feed into the review of the policy due in 2021.