Brussels approves new promotions

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The European Commission has approved 41 new programmes to promote agricultural products in the EU and on third country markets, worth 130 million EURO over three years, half of which (65m EURO) comes from the EU budget.

This includes an extra 30m€ of EU funds made available by the Commission following the Russian ban on imports of EU food products last August.

Commenting on these new programmes, Agriculture and Rural Development Commissioner, Phil Hogan, said: “Promoting EU agri-food products on global markets is a strong and proactive response to the Russian Ban.

“The increased funding for promotion measures will continue to contribute to the success story of the growth in exports of high quality EU agri-food products on the world market.”

The selected programmes, from 18 different Member States, cover a variety of product categories, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, quality products, organic products, olive oil, meat, as well as combination of different product categories. Some 17 of these programmes target the internal EU market and 24 target third countries.

This is a significant change in comparison to the previous wave of programmes, where nearly two thirds of the schemes targeted the internal market.

This is most likely due to the additional 30 million EURO announced by the European Commission last year in the wake of the Russian ban on imports of certain EU agricultural products as a measure to help find alternative markets.

In spite of the restrictions imposed unilaterally by the Russian Federation, total EU agri-food exports to third countries increased by 2% in value in the period August-December 2014 compared to the same period of the previous year.

Third countries and regions targeted are: Middle East, North America, South-East Asia, China, Japan, South Korea, Africa, Russia, Belarus, Kazakshtan, Australia and Norway.

Moreover, five of the accepted programmes are so-called multi-programmes, comprising joint promotion campaigns by organisations from different Member States.