Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is to receive €2.5million (just over £2 million) in support from the European Commission to promote Scotch Beef PGI and Scotch Lamb PGI in eight countries in Europe.
The announcement today (Thursday June 28th) confirmed the European Commission has approved an application from QMS to promote the products in a programme of activity in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, The Netherlands and the UK.
Uel Morton, Chief Executive of Quality Meat Scotland, said the organisation was absolutely delighted to receive the news of the successful application for EU funding.
“This is the third time QMS has been successful in partnering with the European Union to promote Scotland’s quality beef and lamb under the Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) scheme.
“The grant awarded to QMS also includes promotional activities in the domestic market which remains the main focus of the successful application accounting for half of the budget.
“The export priorities and specific countries were identified as a result of an export strategy review conducted by QMS during 2011, with the new strategy announced at the Anuga Food Fair in Cologne in October.”
Mr Morton also voiced appreciation of the effort staff at QMS had devoted to the submission of the application. “Our marketing team at QMS committed considerable time and energy to ensuring we submitted a very good application with great attention to detail. Our small administration team has also worked hard to develop effective systems for managing the complex claims procedures involved in this sort of funding.”
Laurent Vernet, Head of Marketing with QMS, added: “This new scheme will start in October 2012 and the programme totals €5,054,714 (just over £4 million) over three years. The programme will be co-financed 50:50 by the Scottish red meat industry levy and the European Commission.
“The grant application process started last year and involved a detailed and precise programme of activities that QMS is now committed to delivering over the next three years.
“There are five types of activities scheduled for these eight countries: design, production of point of sale material, distribution of point of sale material, advertisement and events/public relations.”
Notes to editors
In 2000 the Council decided that the EU could assist in financing measures that provide information on or promote agricultural products and food on the EU single market and in third countries. The total annual budget available for these promotion programmes is around €55 million.
The measures financed can consist of public relations, promotional or publicity campaigns, in particular highlighting the advantages of EU products, especially in terms of quality, food safety and hygiene, nutrition, labelling, animal welfare or environmentally-friendly production methods. These measures can also cover participation at events and fairs, information campaigns on the EU system of protected designations of origin (PDO), protected geographical indications (PGI) and traditional specialities guaranteed (TSG), information on EU quality and labelling systems and organic farming, and information campaigns on the EU system of quality wines produced in specified regions (QWPSR).
The EU finances up to 50 per cent of the cost of these measures (up to 60 per cent in programmes promoting the consumption of fruit and vegetables by children or concerning information on responsible drinking and the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption), the remainder being met by the professional/inter-branch organisations which proposed them and in some cases also by the Member States concerned.
For promotion on the single market and in third countries, interested professional organisations can submit their proposals to Member States twice a year. Member States then send the list of programmes they have selected to the Commission along with a copy of each programme. Subsequently the Commission evaluates the programmes and decides whether they are eligible.