EU allocates €182.9 million to promote European agri-food products

A total of €182.9 million has been allocated to the promotion of EU agri-food products in and outside the EU in 2021, according to the European Commission.

This promotion policy work programme puts a special focus on promoting products and farming methods that support more directly the European Green Deal objectives, prioritising organic products, fruit and vegetables and sustainable agriculture.

EU policy for the promotion of agri-food products is designed to “increase the sector’s competitiveness by taking advantage of expanding global agri-food markets, and raising awareness of the high standards used in EU agriculture, including in terms of quality and sustainability”, the commission says.

A new framework for the promotion policy will be put in place next year, as envisaged in the Farm to Fork strategy.

Almost half of the budget (€86 million) will go towards campaigns more directly in line with the European Green Deal ambitions, and in particular the Farm to Fork strategy.

This includes informing EU and global consumers about organic farming, EU sustainable agriculture and the role of the agri-food sector in terms of climate action and the environment.

The selected campaigns will aim at raising awareness of these types of farming and increase recognition of the organic label. Furthermore, within the EU, campaigns will be funded to promote healthy eating and balanced diets by increasing the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, the commission says.

Another focus of the campaigns will be to highlight the high safety and quality standards, as well as the diversity and traditional aspects of EU agri-food products. This includes the promotion of EU quality schemes such as geographical indications in the EU.

Finally, regarding campaigns outside the EU, priorities are set on markets with high-growth potential, such as Japan, South Korea, Canada and Mexico.

The selected campaigns are expected to enhance the competitiveness and consumption of EU agri-food products, raise their profile and increase their market share in these targeted countries.

European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz Wojciechowski said: “European agriculture is at a crossroads.

“Its standards in terms of quality and safety are renowned around the world. It now needs a stronger focus on sustainability.

“Our promotion policy has been supporting EU producers in raising awareness about their products in the EU and beyond.

It will now also be a crucial tool in promoting sustainable agriculture in line with the Green Deal’s ambitions. Sustainable agriculture has shown benefits for producers by adding value to their products and for consumers who increasingly want sustainably sourced food.

“The 2021 promotion policy budget reflects our growing ambition, also in view of next year’s review of our promotion policy framework. We need to maintain such a budget over the next years to ensure that this policy can continue supporting the Green Deal objectives,” the commissioner added.

The calls for proposals for the upcoming 2021 campaigns will be published in early 2021.

A wide range of bodies, such as trade organisations, producer organisations and agri-food groups responsible for promotion activities, are eligible to apply for funding and submit their proposals, according to the commission.

Projects will be assessed against the climate and environmental objectives of the CAP, the European Green Deal and the Farm to Fork strategy, in particular with regard to sustainability of production and consumption.