Trade organisations invited to apply for EU funding for product marketing

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is inviting trade organisations to apply for the next annual round of EU funding for the marketing and promotion of agricultural and horticultural products.

The funding can cover up to 50 per cent of marketing costs. The Mushroom Bureau, for example, won £2.2m in funding to help run its three-year campaign to promote fresh mushrooms in the UK.

To qualify, the marketing activities must be aimed at increasing information on - and sales of - products of EU origin in specified non-EU countries.

These countries are known as "third countries" and include places like South Africa. Australia, India, Russia, Serbia and Turkey.Applications for funding are submitted to the European Commission once a year by RPA.

Eligible products include:

- Wines with a protected designation of origin or a protected geographical indication and wines with an indication of the wine grape variety;

- Fresh and processed fruit and vegetables;

- Live plants and ornamental horticulture products;

- Protected designation(s) of origin, protected geographical indication(s) or traditional speciality(ies) guaranteed in accordance with Council Regulations (EC) No 509/2006 (OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p1) or (EC) No 510/2006 (OJ L 93, 31.3.2006, p12); and

- Organic farming products in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 2092/91 (OJ L 198, 22.7.1991, p1)

Applications for funding must be with RPA by Thursday 31 March 2011. A standard application form has been introduced by the European Commission. Applicants are advised to follow it carefully and include all the necessary details. The application can be found at

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