The European Commission launches a debate on the future of promotion schemes for EU agricultural products

The European Commission published a Green Paper which has as main goal how to shape a more targeted and more ambitious strategy for the future, which will make clearer to consumers – both in the EU and beyond - the quality, traditions and added-value of European agricultural and food products.

At the presentation of the Green Paper, EU Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development Dacian Cioloș underlined the need of the the European agriculture industry for an ambitious and effective promotion policy which highlights the added-value of the sector. It is also important for European jobs and growth that the EU agri-food sector can improve its position on traditional and emerging markets.

The EU agri-food information and promotion rules have been adapted over the years, notably with the increase in the number of quality labels, such as the rules proposed by the European Commission in 2009. The current system sees most programmes targeted at the EU market (71% of programmes, 74% in value) and around 8% are multi-country programmes. Also, under the strict rules that apply, some 59% of applications were rejected over the 2006-2010 period.

The Green Paper opens a public consultation which is divided into four sections - the European added-value of this policy; objectives and measures to use on the internal EU market, including on local and regional markets; objectives and measures to use on world markets; and broader questions on the content and management of the policy. Among the questions raised, they ask about the specific needs for information and promotion, both on the EU market and the external market, and what priorities should be set. There is also a question about multi-country programmes, and what can be done to encourage programmes with a greater European dimension. Contributions to the consultation can be made until 30 of September 2011.