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The European Commission on 04 February, launched two calls for proposals under its revamped promotion budget for EU agricultural products. The fund is worth €111 million in 2016. The launch of the promotion initiative comes as EU Agriculture Commissioner, Phil Hogan is planning trade visits to Columbia, Mexico, China and Japan in the coming weeks.

EU funding is available to promote EU agricultural products within the EU, but also on third country markets. There are two calls for proposals on offer covering “simple” programmes and “multi” programmes. Within the “simple” programme, €30 million has been earmarked for the dairy and pigmeat sectors. The EU will co-finance 70% of eligible costs for projects focused within the internal market and 80% of eligible costs for projects targeted towards external markets. Of significance, mention of brands is limited to demonstrations or tasting type events only.

The objectives outlined in the call for proposals are as follows:

  • increase awareness of the merits of Union agricultural products and of the high standards applicable to the production methods in the Union
  • increase the competitiveness and consumption of Union agricultural products and certain food products and to raise their profile both inside and outside the Union
  • increase the awareness and recognition of Union quality schemes
  • increase the market share of Union agricultural products and certain food products, specifically focusing on those markets in third countries that have the highest growth potential
  • restore normal market conditions in the event of serious market disturbance, loss of consumer confidence or other specific problems

The deadline for submitting an application is 28 April 2016, via an electronic portal. The Commission will host an information day in Brussels on 26 February. Additional information can be accessed at the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/chafea/agri/2016-calls-simple-multiple-programmes_en.html

By Eamonn Farrell

ICOS Agri & Food Policy Executive