€186 million to promote high quality and sustainable EU agri-food products

By European Commission

€186 million to promote high quality and sustainable EU agri-food products

The European Commission will allocate €185.9 million in 2023 to fund promotion activities for sustainable and high quality EU agri-food products in the EU and worldwide. The 2023 promotion policy work programme adopted by the Commission contributes to the realisation of the political priorities of the European Commission for 2019-2024, in particular the Farm to Fork strategy.

The promotion projects selected in 2023 are expected to highlight and favour products complying with objectives such as sustainability of EU agriculture, advancing animal welfare and promoting the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables, and of healthy as well as sustainable diets.

The amounts available for campaigns selected in 2023 are almost equally split between promotion in the EU internal market and in third countries, with €83.3 million and €83.1 million respectively.

Outside the EU, countries and regions with high growth potential are identified as main promotion targets. This includes China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, North America. New Zealand and Australia may also represent new market opportunities for European exporters. Last but not least, the United Kingdom remains one of the main export markets for EU agri-food products, absorbing 25% of EU27 exports.

Selected campaigns will inform EU and global consumers of the various EU quality schemes and labels such as geographical indications or organic products. The latter category will benefit from allocated funding of up to €28 million to stimulate demand for organic products, in line with the action plan for organic production. An additional €36 million will support the promotion of sustainable agriculture practices beneficial for the climate, the environment and animal welfare by the European consumers and the consumption of sustainably produced agri-food products.

To encourage healthier and balanced diets, more than €19 million will be specifically earmarked for the promotion of fresh fruit and vegetables to help the sector face persisting challenges such as declining consumption and exports and a weak bargaining position vis-à-vis large-scale retail and processors. In general, promotion activities aimed at consumers on the internal market should refer to and be in line with dietary guidelines of the targeted Member State(s).

The calls for proposals for the upcoming 2023 campaigns will be published in January 2023 by the European Research Executive Agency. A wide range of bodies, such as trade organisations, producer organisations and agri-food groups responsible for promotion activities are eligible to apply for funding and submit their proposals. So-called ‘simple’ programmes can be submitted by one or more organisations from the same EU country. ‘Multi’ programmes come from at least two national organisations from at least two Member States, or from one or more European organisations.

Promotion campaigns about EU farm products are designed to open up new market opportunities for EU farmers and the wider food industry, as well as helping them build their existing business. In addition to increasing sustainable production and consumption of agricultural products, promotion policy also supports the sustainable recovery of the EU agri-food sector in a challenging economic context.