The European Commission today (Monday) approved 10 programmes worth €20.5m (US$27.49m) to provide information on and promote agricultural products outside the EU.

The European Commission's contribution is 50% of the total budget. The programmes that have been accepted are targeted at North America, China, Russia, India, Japan and countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The products covered are wine, olive oil, meat and dairy products.

Since 2001, the commission has approved third country promotion programmes for €61 million in total. Most of these covered wines, fruits and vegetables and meat products. The main targeted markets have been Japan, North America, Russia and non-EU European countries. Italy, France, Spain have been the most active countries in initiating programmes in third countries.