The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney has invited Irish Trade Organisations to submit proposals to his Department by 30 September 2014 for EU co-funding of promotion campaigns in the following areas;
• Internal EU Markets: Sheep Meat; Fresh Fruit and Vegetables (including Potatoes); Live Plants and Products of Ornamental Horticulture; Milk and Milk Products; Organic Farming and organic products registered under Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91; Products registered as Geographical Indications under Commission Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012.
• Non EU Countries: Fresh, Chilled and Frozen Beef, Veal and Pigmeat; Milk Products; Spirit Drinks with a Geographical or Reserved Traditional Indication.
Minister Coveney stated “Over €50m in EU funding is available each year to professional producer organisations in Member States for generic promotion of farm products and for information to consumers on how they are produced. I would like to see several Trade Organisations coming forward, submitting proposals and competing for promotional funding for campaigns highlighting the quality, nutritional value and safety of EU food products”. Emphasizing that the European Commission gives priority to joint proposals from trade organisations from more than one member State, the Minister acknowledged the work previously undertaken by the Irish dairy, mushroom and farmhouse cheese sectors to secure partners and quality proposals for three year programmes, which were evaluated by his Department and then on a competitive basis by the European Commission, which approved 50% EU funding.
Concluding, the Minister said that his Department was available to advise on eligible themes and criteria for programmes, which may focus on intrinsic features and advantages of EU products, such as specific production methods, labelling, animal welfare, the environment.