The European Commission has approved 27 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries.

Two of the projects are relevant to Ireland with the National Dairy Council availing of over €600,000 to promote the consumption of cheese and Bord Bia among a consortium of organisations across a number of Member States which will promote the consumption of lamb by young people.

The total budget of the programmes, the grand majority of which will run for a period of three years, is €77.4 million of which the EU contributes €39 million.

The selected programmes cover a variety of product categories, such as fresh and processed fruit and vegetables, dairy products, quality products (PDOs, PGIs, TSGs and organic products), flowers, quality meat, as well as, for the first time, sheepmeat.

EU Agriculture Commissioner Dacian Cioloş stated  that he is pleased to confirm our support for these new promotion programmes, including sheepmeat for the first time.

“I hope they will boost consumption and sales at this difficult time. In the course of the last 5 years, we have become a net exporter of agri food products, with the value of exports accelerating faster than the volume, as consumers in other parts of the world appreciate the traditions, quality standards and tastes of Europe. These new measures will further enhance that reputation,” he said.