EU producers will receive an increased budget of €133m in 2017 to promote EU agricultural products outside and inside the EU and to continue finding new markets.
The Commission adopted the 2017 promotion strategy for EU agricultural products with a total budget of €133m, compared to the €111m available for 2016.
This amount will co-finance several programmes, most of which will target third countries and regions, including China, Middle East, North America, Southeast Asia and Japan, supporting the momentum launched earlier this year by commissioner Phil Hogan's diplomatic offensive to find new markets and support consumption of EU products abroad.
"I welcome these new programmes, especially in the context of the recent market difficulties," said Hogan. "I was just now travelling in Asia as part of our efforts to boost agri-food exports, and I am struck by the interest being shown by importers and consumers in this part of the world.
"The further expansion of our promotion programmes next year is also particularly important as this will also help to stimulate growth and jobs in the agri-food sector," he added. "EU-wide, we see that an increase in exports of €1bn supports roughly 14,000 jobs. I am particularly pleased that this includes a new initiative to boost products from sustainable agriculture."
A call for proposals to benefit from the 2017 promotion budget will be launched in January 2017 at the latest. Proposing organisations can apply and their campaigns, usually rolling over three years, will be co-financed by the European Commission at rates of 70 per cent to 85 per cent.
According to the EC, the 2017 budget represents a clear increase compared with the €111m from this year, outlining the support provided to EU agri-food producers.
The 2016 promotion campaign is successfully following its course as the final beneficiaries were selected and will be in a position to get their campaigns started early next year. The selected campaigns, 60 of them being single programmes and six multi programmes "show a more diverse and broader outreach than ever", the EC said, covering 32 third countries, compared with 23 last year, and within the two major destinations, the US and China, going well beyond the most targeted areas of New York and Beijing.
The products which will be the most advertised in the campaigns are fruits and vegetables (30 per cent of the programmes), followed by meat (17 per cent) and dairy products (15 per cent).
A number of changes are foreseen for promotion next year. As well as providing an increased budget for 2017, an extra €9.5m will be available for promotion actions directly managed by the Commission, (e.g. EU pavilions at fairs in third countries, high level missions), and some €63m is earmarked for simple promotion programmes on third country markets.