At its plenary sitting of 20 November 2012, the European Parliament adopted a report “Promotion measures and information provision for agricultural products” by Jose Bove MEP (FR, the Greens). Although quite comprehensive, European Public Health Alliance is concerned about specific inclusion of support towards actions aimed at increasing “European quality wine consumption”.
Whilst quite comprehensive in itself by making specific reference to:
– information and promotion measures to be considered for better, more extensive and consistent consumer information provision
– provision of support for specific promotion measures for the wine, fruit and vegetables sectors financed under the Single Common Market Organisation (CMO), and products included in food quality schemes financed under the rural development policy;
– actions should be carried out to promote the potential of local farming and short-chain distribution; such initiatives are small-scale, highly localised and create local employment; local and regional markets should highlight the diversity and freshness of products and the proximity between producers and consumers, with a view to the economic revitalisation and social enhancement of rural life;
– promotion of agricultural products can contribute to the Europe2020 strategy;
– applauding increased co-financing rates for the EU School Fruit Scheme, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing economic crisis; emphasis on the scheme’s educational objectives;
– emphasis on the fact that the entry into force of the health claims will bring greater transparency to the promotion of products for health-related reasons;
However, EPHA feels particularly concerned about the parts of the report that will allow for spending the EU agricultural products promotion budget on “Action relating to information campaigns on quality wines”. The argument behind this action is a concern about “the constant decline of wine consumption in the EU” and “no European measures for the internal promotion of this product”.
To this end, the report calls on the Commission to “assess the implementation in the EU market of information campaigns targeted at the adult population on the responsible consumption of European quality wines”; it also notes that, in addition to the moderate consumption of these wines, “such campaigns should highlight the cultural roots, qualitative properties and specific characteristics of European wines”.