The European Commission will allocate €185.9 million in 2024 to fund promotion activities for sustainable and high-quality EU agri-food products at home and abroad. The 2024 promotion policy work program adopted by the Commission aims to develop new market opportunities while taking into account the political priorities, analysis of projected exports to existing and emerging markets, as well as contributions from stakeholders.
Promotion campaigns about EU farm products should be designed to open up new market opportunities for EU farmers and the wider EU food industry, as well as to help them secure their existing business. In addition to increasing sustainable production and consumption of agricultural products, the promotion policy also supports the sustainable recovery of the EU agri-food sector in a challenging economic context.
The amounts available for campaigns selected in 2024 are split between promotion in the EU internal market and in third countries, with €81.3 million and €85.1 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, and North America. The United Kingdom remains one of the main export markets for EU agri-food products, absorbing more than 20% of EU27 exports.
The European Commission co-funds up to 80% of the selected projects submitted by private operators and also runs its own communication campaigns in third countries. Such activities can include participation in agri-food trade fairs, organization of business delegations to third countries, and development of market entry handbooks for exporters.
The promotion campaigns selected in 2024 are expected to feature products from sustainable farming practices, that contribute to reducing dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials, minimizing fertilization and water pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing organic farming, and improving animal welfare. €62 million will be specifically allocated to such sustainably produced agri-food products, including €42 million for organic products. One of the expected results is to further increase the recognition of the EU organic logo by European consumers and the consumption of organic products, in line with the EU action plan for organic production.
Another objective is to increase the awareness of the EU’s quality schemes and products registered as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialty guaranteed (TSG). More than 3,500 names of agri-food products and beverages are currently protected, guaranteeing consumers genuine products and preserving the EU’s cultural and culinary heritage.
The promotion of consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables in the context of balanced diets also remains a cornerstone of the EU’s promotion policy. The latest review of the program’s implementation concluded that 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 between 2016 and 2019. In the 2024 work program, more than €18 million will be earmarked for the promotion of fresh fruit and vegetables.
This does not preclude the financing of campaigns for these products from the rest of the promotion budget. Promotion activities aimed at consumers on the internal market should refer to and be in line with the dietary guidelines of the targeted Member State(s).
The calls for proposals for the upcoming 2024 campaigns will open from 18 January to 14 May 2024. They are run by the European Research Executive Agency (REA). A wide range of bodies, such as trade and producer organizations and agri-food groups responsible for promotion activities are eligible to apply for funding and submit their proposals. So-called ‘simple’ programs can be submitted by one or more organizations from the same EU country. ‘Multi’ programs come from at least two national organizations from at least two Member States, or from one or more European organizations. A map of all campaigns currently running in the world is available on REA’s website.
An information day will take place in Brussels and online on 31 January and 1 February 2024. Its aim is to further present the eligibility and award criteria as well as experiences from beneficiaries of funded programs and to facilitate contacts between potential project partners.