11 February 2021, EU: The promotion policy for agri-food products has been consistent with its objectives. It has increased competitiveness of the sector and raised awareness of the high standards of EU products, especially in third markets. In 2021, the Commission will undertake a review of this policy to take into account new EU priorities such as the European Green Deal. Published today, the report to the European Parliament and the Council gives an overview of how the policy for agri-food products was implemented since the 2014 reform and provides recommendations that will feed into the 2021 review.
The report shows that between 2016 and 2019 a total of 279 promotion programmes were awarded co-funding by the Commission. Of these, 112 promotion programmes targeted the internal market whereas 167 programmes helped EU producers access new markets outside the EU and raised awareness about the quality features of EU agri-food products.
The very high number of proposals submitted during that period confirms the sustained interest of the EU agri-food sector in this policy as well as a strong demand for co-funding opportunities that can maximise the impact of EU promotion campaigns at home and abroad. Every year, the funds requested largely exceeded the available budget, resulting in strong competition between proposals.
Between 2016 and 2019, fruit and vegetables were the main product category benefitting from EU promotion policy co-funding, with between 19% and 30% of the total annual promotion policy budget dedicated to this product category.
The report also presented the concept of annual work programmes, introduced with the 2014 policy reform, as a relevant tool to ensure a dynamic alignment with other EU policies and a more targeted promotion policy implementation. The 2021 annual work programme was presented in the report as a practical example of this dynamic alignment, dedicating 50% of its budget to topics in line with the objectives of the farm to fork strategy adopted in 2020.
The report defines the EU agri-food promotion policy as a key instrument to support the transition towards a more sustainable agricultural sector. The promotion policy can contribute to the EU food system’s positioning as a global reference in terms of sustainability. Among its recommendations, the Commission acknowledges that the promotion policy is an increasingly important tool to deliver on the objectives of the farm to fork strategy and Europe’s beating cancer plan.
This report will inform the review of the promotion policy set for 2021. The review should strengthen the policy’s contribution to the European Green Deal, the Farm to fork strategy as well as Europe’s beating cancer plan.