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The EU Promotion Policy must include holistic sustainability criteria

In its Farm to Fork Strategy, the European Commission announced it would revise the EU Agricultural Promotion Policy to encourage the consumption of sustainable products. As a member of the Commission’s Civil Dialogue Group “Quality and promotion”, Euromontana has long followed the discussions on promotion programmes and welcomes the willingness to make promotion calls more sustainable.

Yet, Euromontana fears that the revision of the Promotion Policy would not take into account all dimensions of sustainability. Mountain products benefit the environment and unique biodiversity of mountain areas; the environmental sustainability of extensive practices such as pastoralism must be recognised in particular when it comes to the promotion of meat and dairy products. Still, the Commission must also consider the socio-economic benefits of agriculture when allocating promotion funds. Sustainability cannot be reduced to a calculation based on carbon emissions; mountain farming for example helps to maintain a vibrant rural economy and traditions but also to preserve landscapes and fight forest-fires.

A sustainability-oriented Promotion Policy is possible if the objectives, structure and evaluation criteria of promotion calls are redesigned. To do so, Euromontana shared its recommendations as part of the Commission’s public consultation. Euromontana recommends among others to:

  • Better valorise the Optional Quality Term “mountain product” in the Agricultural Promotion Policy by making its eligibility clearer among producers and by creating one dedicated budget line and call for each quality scheme and optional quality term.
  • Better target small producers by simplifying the application process and allocating more budget to calls targeting the EU market, which would also be more consistent with European climate objectives.
  • Prioritise sustainable products in the allocation of funds by creating, together with stakeholders, evaluation criteria which address the three pillars of sustainability in order to fully take into account the products’ environmental, economic and social impacts

For more details on Euromontana’s recommendations please read “The EU Agricultural Promotion Policy A tool for the promotion of mountain farming

8 September 2020

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