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Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Information and promotion measures for agricultural products

The Commission briefed the member states at last Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries (held in Brussels on 16 and 17 December 2013) on its proposal for a regulation on information provision and promotion measures for agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries (16591/13).
Member states generally welcomed the proposal and took note of its ambition to better valorise the EU agri-food industry. However many of them expressed concerns about the suppression of the possibility to provide a national cofinancing support of the promotion measures; they also pointed out the need to better involve member states in the whole process of promotion from the selection of the measures. Some countries would like to enlarge the list of products covered by the measures and some others insisted on the need to have a close check on the use of the budget of promotion considering its increase scheduled in the proposal.
The production of and trading in agricultural and agri-food products constitute a major asset for the EU. In this regard it is crucial that EU agriculture and the agri-food industry maintain and increase their competitiveness and their market shares on both the internal and export markets. However, European agriculture is faced today with a much more competitive environment, largely resulting from the globalisation of markets, and this trend should continue in the coming years. Nevertheless, on the internal market the logos on products that benefit from EU quality scheme logo such as protected designation of origin (PDO) or protected geographical indication (PGI) are generally not recognised. The same goes for exports where the effort of investing in marketing and selling on distant markets represents a challenge for a sector essentially made up of SMEs.
This context calls for a renewed policy of promotion, one which learns from the lessons of the promotional programmes implemented to date and which represents an additional stage in the
modernisation of the common agricultural policy (CAP).
Measures will follow a strategy of identifying priorities on markets and products or messages to be highlighted. As the CAP reform encourages farmers to organise themselves, the scheme should be opened up to new beneficiaries, such as producer organisations. Strict guidelines should be established as regards the possibilities of mentioning the origin of products or brand names as a means of illustrating the main generic message highlighting the intrinsic characteristics of European agricultural products.

Source: Council of the European Union