FruitVegetablesEUROPE position paper on the EU Promotion Policy Review

  • FruitVegetablesEUROPE contributes to the debates launched by the European Commission to review the European promotion policy.
  • The reform carried out in 2014 has contributed to improving the competitiveness of the fruit and vegetable sector, however, it is necessary to improve coherence with other EU policies, especially trade policy.
  • FruitVegetablesEUROPE is currently implementing four EU promotional programmes for the sector: CuTE – Cultivating the Taste of Europe, CuTE-Solar, CuTE-4You and CuTE-HEALTHY.

(Brussels, 12/07/2021) On the occasion of the Agri-food Promotion Policy Review Conference organised by the European Commission, FruitVegetablesEUROPE wants to contribute to the debate by providing the views of the European fruit and vegetable producers. As a direct beneficiary, FruitVegetablesEUROPE and its members are intensely committed and involved in the EU Promotion policy. To respond to the sector promotion needs, FruitVegetablesEUROPE created the CuTE’s strategy in 2018. CuTE – Cultivating the Taste of Europe is a smart and global strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the EU Fruit and Vegetables sector. Currently, we are implementing 4 programmes: CuTE, CuTE-Solar, CuTE-4you and CuTE-HEALTHY.

FruitVegetablesEUROPE strongly believes that the EU promotion policy is an excellent instrument to enhance the competitiveness of the European Fruit and Vegetables sector. At the same time, the EU promotion policy boost the consumption of EU products in the EU and in third countries. Furthermore, promotion measures contribute to raising consumer awareness of the merits of the EU’s agricultural products and production methods, as well as the awareness and recognition of EU quality and organic farming schemes.

Are the EU promotion measures efficient, effective and coherent?

Generally speaking, we consider that the policy reform conducted in 2014 has had a positive impact for the fruit and vegetables sector and it has reached the objective of increasing the competitiveness of the EU agricultural and food products.

The possibility to mention the origin and display of brands on the visuals has significantly helped the promotion of the EU agricultural and food products as well as the high-level missions, Quality, Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) Seminars, communication campaigns and market entry handbooks have proven to be effective measures to also promote the EU agricultural and food products. On the other hand, the creation of the Consumers, Health, Agriculture and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA) and the direct EU management has improved the efficiency of the promotion policy.

Regarding the coherence of the EU promotion policy with the promotion measures implemented by the Member States or under private initiatives we consider that there is a general coherence. However, the coherence with other EU policies is not so well achieved, particularly regarding the EU Trade policy. The current trade policy is not sustainable either at the environmental or the social level. The Fruit and Vegetables producers are suffering the consequences of free trade agreements. Products are being imported with much laxer phytosanitary regulations. If we want to bet on a sustainable food model, we must prioritize the European Fruit and vegetables consumption.

Our approach to strengthen the European promotion policy

1. A strong EU budget.

2. A better allocation between internal and third counties markets.

3. More resources for the programmes implemented in the EU internal market.

4. An Annual Work Programme considering all European production sectors and coherent with the real possibilities of exporting to third countries.

5. Coherence with other EU policies.

6. Reconsider the eligibility criteria to ensure that all beneficiaries represent EU interests and not third countries interests.

7. Remove the shared management between simple and multi programmes. CHAFEA should manage all promotion programmes funded by the EU budget.

8. Access to finance to implement the programmes and harmonisation with Horizon 2020 project

The European fruit and vegetable production models are at the forefront of the world. The technologies used for years, the attention to detail in the production, the harvesting, the storage, the preparation for sale and the entire logistics chain guarantee consumers an excellent taste, safety and healthy fruits and vegetables at reasonable prices. The European Fruit and Vegetables sector guarantees its commitment and responsibility in the continued supply of food with the highest guarantees in safety and quality matters.

Therefore, FruitVegetablesEurope believes that it is crucial to providing positive information on the benefits and advantages of the European fruit and vegetables and to increase the knowledge and awareness of consumers who are unaware of the characteristics of the EU fruit and vegetables.

FruitVegetablesEUROPE President, Juan Marín, said:

“The EU promotion policy needs a strong budget in the long term to really achieve its objectives. Therefore, the current budget should be maintained or increased in the coming years. A better allocation between internal and third counties markets should be achieved. Furthermore, providing more resources to the EU internal market programmes is essential.”

FruitVegetablesEUROPE Secretary General, Alba Ridao-Bouloumié, stressed:

 “The EU promotion policy is an excellent and essential tool to enhance the competitiveness and to boost the consumption of the European Fruit and Vegetables sector. FruitVegetablesEUROPE and its members are intensely committed and involved in the EU Promotion policy. To respond to the EU Fruit and Vegetables promotion needs, FruitVegetablesEUROPE created the CuTE’s strategy in 2018. CuTE – Cultivating the Taste of Europe is a smart and global strategy to enhance the competitiveness of the EU Fruit and vegetables sector.

CuTE’s main objectives are to:

1 ) Increase awareness of the merits of EU Fruit and vegetables and of the high standards applicable to the production methods in the EU;

2) Increase the competitiveness and consumption of EU Fruit and vegetables products and to raise their profile both inside and outside the EU.

3) Restoring normal market conditions following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the EU fruit and vegetables is also a priority for FruitVegetablesEUROPE

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