The European Commission will allocate €185.9 million in 2024 to finance activities to promote sustainable, high-quality EU agricultural products in the Union itself and around the world.
The work program of the promotion policy for 2024 adopted by the Commission, aims to “encourage new market opportunities, while taking into account political priorities, analysis of planned exports in existing and new markets, and contributions from interested parties.”
Promotion campaigns for EU agricultural products should be designed to open up new market opportunities farmers and the wider EU food industry, and to help them consolidate their businesses. In addition to increasing the sustainable production and consumption of agricultural products, the promotion policy also supports the sustainable recovery of the EU agricultural sector in a difficult economic situation.
The amounts available for the selected campaigns in 2024 are divided between the promotion of the internal market of the EU and the third countries, with 81.3 million euros and 85.1 million euros, respectively. Outside the EU, countries and regions with high growth potential are considered the main targets of promotion. These countries and regions include China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and North America. The UK remains one of the main export markets for EU agri-food products, absorbing 20% of EU-27 exports.
The European Commission co-finances up to 80% of selected projects presented by private agents and also conducts its own communication campaigns in third countries. These activities may include participating in agri-food trade fairs, organizing trade delegations in third countries and developing market entry manuals for exporters.
Products from sustainable agricultural practices are expected to appear in selected promotional campaigns by 2024 which will contribute to reducing reliance on pesticides and antimicrobials, reducing fertilization and water pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting organic farming and improving animal welfare. €62 million will be allocated specifically to sustainably produced agri-food products, including €42 million for organic products. One of the expected results is the increased recognition of the EU organic logo by European consumers and increased consumption of organic products, in accordance with the Organic Farming Action Plan.
Another goal is to expand awareness of the quality regime and EU 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 protected, guaranteeing consumers authentic products and preserving the cultural and culinary heritage of the EU.
Promoting the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables within balanced diets also remains a cornerstone of EU promotion policy.. The latest review of the implementation of the program concluded that fruit and vegetables are the main product category benefiting from the co-financing of the EU promotion policy, with between 19% and 30% of the total annual EU budget. promotion policy between 2016 and 2019. In the 2024 work program, more than 18 million euros will be allocated to the promotion of fresh fruit and vegetables. This excludes the financing of the campaigns of these products also from the remaining promotion budget. Promotional activities aimed at consumers in the internal market must refer to and comply with the food guidelines of the recipient Member State(s).
Calls for proposals for the upcoming 2024 specific campaigns will be open between January 18 and May 14, 2024. The calls are managed by the European Executive Research Agency. Various organizations such as professional and producer organizations, and agri-food groups responsible for promotional activities can request funding and present their proposals. So-called ‘simple’ programs can be presented by one or more organizations from the same EU country. ‘Multiple’ programs can be presented by at least two national organizations from at least two Member States, or by one or more European organisations. A map of all the campaigns currently underway in the world can be found on the website of the European Executive Research Agency.