Evaluation of EU agri-food promotion policy finds it ‘boosts competitiveness of sector’

A new framework for EU agri-food promotion policy is planned for 2021, aimed at enhancing its contribution to sustainable production and consumption in line with the commission’s Farm to Fork strategy.

The EU has this week published an evaluation of its policy – ‘Evaluation of the impact of the EU agricultural promotion policy in internal and third country markets’ – which it says will feed into an overall review of the policy planned for this year.

The evaluation of the EU’s agricultural promotion policy, supported by an external study and a public consultation on the topic, examined the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value of the EU policy measures implemented between 2016 and 2019.

The evaluation found that current policy “boosts competitiveness of the sector”, according to the commission.

The objectives of the policy are “relevant to stakeholders’ needs and address market challenges, have a clear EU added value, but need to be better aligned with evolving societal needs and political priorities”.

‘The policy has been implemented efficiently’

The commission said:

“The evaluation found that activities funded under the promotion policy contribute effectively to increasing the sales and consumption of the EU products promoted in target markets, although this is difficult to quantify precisely.

Overall, support given to outreach and promotion activities is effective and has the right tools in place to meet the policy’s objectives.

“The evaluation concluded that the policy has been implemented efficiently. Still, some differences were noted depending on the type of programme, with direct management being implemented generally more efficiently.”

It was also concluded that the policy can play a bigger role in the green transition.

€182.9 million allocated to promote European agri-food products

In December, the commission announced that a total of €182.9 million has been allocated to the promotion of EU agri-food products in and outside the EU in 2021.

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.

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.