Freshfel hails EU ag promotion budget boost

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Freshfel hails EU ag promotion budget boost

Produce industry body Freshfel Europe has welcomed a decision by the European Parliament yesterday to adopt a new framework to promote agricultural products, which will raise funding from the current €60 million level to €200 million by 2020.

European Parliament. Photo:


The industry body expects the scheme - to be finalized in the coming weeks by the European Parliament, European Council and the European Commission - will continue to allocate the "lion's share" of funding to the fresh fruit and vegetable sector.

Hopes are high that the new reforms will come into force next year.

Freshfel highlighted that the revised scheme would also raise EU contributions to promotion programs by up to 75%, making it easier for European programs to connect with partners from other member states.

The association also notes the text voted on by Parliament allows for the possibility of undertaking both promotions and information campaigns in non-EU countries.

The move follows a decision to raise funding for the EU school fruit scheme from €90 million to €150 million, which should bring conditions to help emphasize the fun, taste and health aspects associated with fresh fruit and vegetable production.

"The reform will open new opportunity for the sector to get access to increased resources to stimulate the consumption of fresh produce and indicates that the awareness at EU level to get better support for information and communication actions to boost fresh produce consumption," Freshfel general delegate Philippe Binard said in a release.

The Parliament decision comes after approval by the Agricultural Committee last week.

"This deal will further improve the promotion of EU farm products worldwide. New measures will help EU farmers and the food industry both to boost their sales abroad and to consolidate their position on the EU single market," Parliament's rapporteur Esther Herranz García said in a release.

The deal also adds beer, chocolate, bread and pastry, pasta, salt, sweet corn, and cotton to the list of products eligible for the full range of EU-supported promotion measures.

Related story: Europe's School Fruit Scheme makes big impact on kids and families


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