EUR 180 million for the promotion of Greek agricultural products and wine around the world

Greek and Greek travel throughout the world with the help of the information and promotion programmes co-financed by the European Union and the Greek public. “Our country produces a number of agricultural products and foods which have high quality characteristics, have high nutritional value and are safe at the same time. We produce a total of 116 PDOs and PGI agricultural products, 147 PDOs and PGI wines and a number of products without geographical indication” told the Athenian – Macedonian News Agency, the head of the Directorate for the Promotion of Agricultural Products of the Ministry of Rural Development and Food Nikos Tavolaris. And he added “Greek products can become competitive in all markets worldwide. Indeed, in many cases they have comparative or even absolute advantages over others from countries of both the European Union and third countries.” According to him, the special climatic conditions that prevail in Greece and allow farmers “to produce products with special characteristics, which our job is to highlight.” Through the information and promotion programmes producers are given the opportunity to ‘travel’ their products to European markets and third country markets, thus increasing their clientele and finding new trade outlets. “To do so, however, it is necessary to have the quantities that can meet demand. For this reason, the Ministry of Rural Development and Food supports the creation of cooperative schemes through inter-branch organisations, cooperatives and producer groups,” he notes. In progress 22 projects Currently, according to data from the Ministry of Rural Development and Food, 22 programmes are running for the information and promotion of agricultural products, a budget of EUR 42.7 million. “We are preparing to contract another six recently adopted projects, a budget of EUR 11.7 million, thus raising the total budget to around EUR 55 million,” said Mr. Tabularis. ‘In parallel, the new regulatory framework for wines is completed. This will enable both wine-related measures, with the annual budget there reaching EUR 12.8 million,” he noted and added. “The interest is great. Especially in wine the budget is exceeded.” Programmes Information and promotion programmes for agricultural products are aimed primarily at raising consumer awareness of the particular quality characteristics of these products and also at promoting the importance of Community systems relating to PDO, PGI and organic products. At the same time, the main objective is to increase the competitiveness and consumption of agricultural products and certain EU food products. They concern products with or without Agricultural Indication (PGI) on both the European market and third countries. In particular for wine programmes, the measure relating to the promotion of wine in third countries and information on the correct consumption of wine as well as the consequences of harmful consumption and related to the European market will be activated. Funding is an important role in these programmes and also in the reasons why producers choose to join them. Information and promotion programmes for agricultural products are co-financed by the European Union at a rate of 70% for the internal market and 80% for third countries. The annual budget at European Union level for these programmes is around EUR 81 million for the European market and EUR 85 million for third countries. These programmes have an implementation horizon from one to three years. The person concerned shall submit the dossier with his proposal to the European Commission, shall be approved and then their implementation shall begin by concluding a contract between the CSDP and the beneficiaries. The annual budget for wine-related programmes amounts to EUR 10 million (funded by the European Commission EUR 5 million, EUR 3 million from national resources and EUR 2 million from the participants’ own resources) in the case of wine promotion programmes for non-European countries and for the information programme for the internal market of EUR 2.8 million (1.4 million from European resources and EUR 840,000 from national resources). According to Mr Tavularis “the main countries for the wine information programme are Greece, Germany and Poland. For third countries it is the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom’. And he completed “every year the programmes to promote agricultural products and wine are ready to receive new entries”. And these programmes have a implementation horizon from one to three years while the demands are filed and approved by the Ministry of Rural Development and Food. For 2024, the programmes relating to agricultural products have been opened from 18 January and will accept dossiers by 14 May. For wines, as Mr Tavularis said in April, the process of showing interest is expected to begin. Actions Through the programmes as noted by the director of the promotion of agricultural products of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture, the opportunities offered to those who are interested are many. “There are actions relating to public relations (projection on TV, radio, social networks), participation in events, exhibitions, sampling etc.” he noted. It is also important that a study is given on target markets, which one wishes to join. “All these actions are co-financed by the European Commission and Greece” he stressed. Beneficiaries The interest in joining these programmes as Mr Tabularis said is great. Individual wine producers can join wine programmes, but only those for third countries. The EU. only those representing PDO or PGI production zones are included. ‘In any case and for all programmes for the information and promotion of our agricultural products, those concerned should demonstrate that they represent the product of which they are seeking promotion. They should represent at least 50% of the production volume or 50% of the market value of the product they want to promote. For these reasons, the creation of cooperative schemes is an outlet for the promotion of our agricultural products” concluded.