The European Commission has said that it will part-finance ten programmes to promote agricultural products outside of the EU.

The Commission will stump up half the cash that will promote "quality" European wine, fruit, vegetables, meat, olive oil and organic products with PGI and PDO protection.

"EU quality products are second to none," said agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel, announcing the bloc's EUR11.1m (US$16.7m) investment.

"Increasing their visibility on markets outside the EU is a major priority. I see enormous sales potential on overseas markets, where people appreciate the history behind these high quality foodstuffs and wines. By investing in promotion and information campaigns for our products outside the EU, the European Union is showing its determination to take up this challenge."

The private sector will provide the other half of the promotional funds.