Some €111m has been allocated for an export drive to promote EU agricultural produce by the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan.

The drive, called ‘Enjoy it, it’s from Europe’ is part of a series of new measures designed to support the sector.

The new promotion policy adopted by the European Commission will help the sector’s professionals break into or consolidate international markets and make European consumers more aware of the efforts made by European farmers, according to the Commission.

Funding for the troubled milk and pigmeat sectors get ring-fenced funding of €30m out of the overall package.

Commissioner Hogan said he would personally lead the new export offensive designed to open up new world markets for EU produce.

“Europe’s agri-food produce is second to none in the global marketplace. The €110 billion EU export market creates jobs and growth in rural areas across Europe.

“I am delighted to unveil this new export drive, which will see €111m leverage further opportunities for EU agri-food produce in new markets, as well as grow our presence in existing markets.

“I am particularly pleased to announce the ring-fencing of €30m for the troubled milk and pigmeat sectors as part of the recently announced €500m agri-markets package,” he said.

In 2016 European producers will benefit from programmes worth €111m to find new markets and promote consumption outside and inside the EU.

Promotion is a key part of the measures presented by the Commission to support farmers.

The 2016 programme targets a selected list of third countries where there is the highest potential for growth in particular to the sectors experiencing a particularly difficult market situation, like dairy and pig meat.

Of the total amount, €30m were specifically earmarked in the support package unveiled by Commissioner Hogan early September to support promotion measures in these two sectors.

The main elements set out in the new promotion rules are:

A significant increase in the aid allocated to information and promotion campaigns: European aid should increase progressively from €61m in the 2013 budget to €200m in 2019 (€111m in 2016).

Significantly higher EU co-financing rates in comparison to the current regime (EU co-financing rate of 70% for simple programmes presented by an organisation from one Member State, 80% for multi programmes and programmes targeting third countries, 85% for crisis programmes, 75-85% for countries under financial assistance, i.e. Cyprus and Greece); whereas the national co-financing disappears thereby creating a level playing field.

The establishment of a European promotion strategy, which will allow for promotion measures to be more targeted. This strategy should lead to:

  • An increase in the number of programmes aimed at third countries and multi-country programmes (programmes represented by organisations from several Member States) through a higher co-financing rate for these two categories
  • On the internal market, overcoming consumers’ lack of awareness about the merits of European agricultural products in general and products endorsed by European quality systems in particular
  • Widening the scope of measures by: extending eligible beneficiaries to include producer organisations; extending the range of products, particularly to processed agri-food products, such as, for example, bread, pasta or chocolate; allowing to specify the origin of products and their brands, within certain limits;
  • Simplifying administrative procedures, with the assessment and selection of programmes henceforth taking place in one phase at the Commission, rather than in two phases as is currently the case (first Member State and then the European Commission)
  • Facilitating management of multi-country programmes developed jointly by organisations from several Member States via a one-stop shop at the Commission (via the CHAFEA executive agency).