The European Commission will spend €186 million to promote agri-food products

17 November 2023

In 2024, the European Commission is set to allocate €185.9 million to support the promotion of sustainable and high-quality EU agri-food products both domestically and internationally. The Commission’s adopted 2024 promotion policy work programme is geared towards creating fresh market opportunities. This involves considering political priorities, analysing projected exports to existing and emerging markets, and incorporating insights from stakeholders.

The objective of EU farm product promotion campaigns is twofold: opening new market avenues for EU farmers and the broader EU food industry, and aiding in the retention of existing business. The promotion policy, in addition to fostering sustainable production and consumption of agricultural products, seeks to underpin the sustainable recovery of the EU agri-food sector amid challenging economic conditions.

For the year 2024, the allocated funds are divided between promotion in the EU internal market (€81.3 million) and third countries (€85.1 million). Outside the EU, the primary promotion targets include countries and regions with high growth potential, such as China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and North America. The United Kingdom continues to be a key export market, absorbing over 20% of EU27 exports.

Private operators can receive up to 80% co-funding from the European Commission for selected projects, and the Commission also conducts its own communication campaigns in third countries. These activities encompass participation in agri-food trade fairs, organising business delegations to third countries, and developing market entry handbooks for exporters.

Promotion campaigns in 2024 are expected to highlight sustainably produced agri-food products, emphasising practices that reduce dependency on pesticides and antimicrobials, minimise fertilization and water pollution, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, promote organic farming, and enhance animal welfare. A significant portion of the budget (€62 million) is specifically allocated to sustainably produced agri-food products, including €42 million for organic products.

The goals for 2024 also include increasing awareness of EU quality schemes and products registered as protected designation of origin (PDO), protected geographical indication (PGI), and traditional specialty guaranteed (TSG). Over 3,500 agri-food products and beverages are currently protected, preserving the EU’s cultural and culinary heritage.

The promotion of the consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables remains a focal point of the EU’s promotion policy. The 2024 work programme earmarks over €18 million for the promotion of fresh fruit and vegetables. Calls for proposals for the 2024 campaigns will be open from January 18 to May 14, 2024, and are managed by the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Eligible bodies, including trade and producer organizations and agri-food groups, can apply for funding and submit proposals. The REA’s website provides a map of ongoing campaigns worldwide.

An information day, scheduled for January 31 and February 1, 2024, in Brussels and online, aims to present eligibility and award criteria, share experiences from beneficiaries of funded programs, and facilitate connections among potential project partners.