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The European Commission is to spend EUR200m (US221.4m) promoting EU agri-food products around the world.

More than half of the budget (EUR118m) will go towards campaigns pursuing markets outside the European Union which the EC identifies as having high-growth potential, such as Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico and the US. 

Eligible sectors for promotion include dairy (including cheese) and olives and olive oil. The EC said the selected campaigns are expected to “enhance the competitiveness and consumption of EU agri-food products, raise their profile and increase their market share in these targeted countries”.

The plan is to help the sector “take advantage of the expanding and increasingly dynamic global agri-food market, raise awareness on quality schemes including organic produce and help producers should they face market disturbances”.

The EC agriculture and rural development commissioner Phil Hogan said: “Europe’s reputation in the world for agri-food products is unparalleled. The EU is not the top world agri-food exporter by accident. Our promotion policy with an ever-increased budget supports EU producers in making their products known both in the EU and outside but also in facing market difficulties by raising more awareness on their produce. 

“The trade agreements in place also create the conditions to increase their exports to high-growing markets. The recent conclusion of the EU-China bilateral agreement on geographical indications is yet another example of the Commission’s work to create opportunities for producers and high-quality EU products.”

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Campaigns will also inform consumers of the various EU quality schemes and labels such as geographical indications or organic products. An additional focus of the campaigns will be to highlight the “high safety and quality standards, as well as the diversity and traditional aspects of EU agri-food products”.

A portion of the EUR200m will also be spent on internal promotion campaigns within the EU. The focus of these will be on promoting healthy eating and increasing the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.