Expenditures and Activities of
European Union (EU) Member Countries
Agricultural products are an important component of Spain's external trade, accounting for about 15 percent of total exports and valued at $17.7 billion in 1998, the government places importance on promoting agricultural products. ICEX, Spanish Foreign Trade Institute, is an agency of the Ministry of Commerce and Tourism, which is the government agency responsible for promoting agricultural fishery and forestry exports. Some Spanish regional autonomous governments have trade promotion offices that cooperate with ICEX. The government of Spain's overall budget for trade promotion of agricultural and food products was about $33 million for 1998.
Spanish Promotion Activities
ICEX sponsors and participates in trade fairs, point-of-sale promotions, market research, trade missions, training, and provides direct assistance to exporters. The Institute runs 11 promotional centers aboard. Seven of these promote food and beverages, and are located in New York, Toronto, Dusseldorf, the Hague, London, Paris, and Milan. ICEX also promotes agricultural products through 80 trade offices world wide. ICEX does not provide any direct funding to individual companies or organizations’. The programs are "coordinated" with these groups and tend to be generic.
In 1998, ICEX participated with official pavilions in 19 international food promotional events around the world, including the U.S. Fancy Food Shows in New York and San Francisco, SIAL in Paris, and FOODEX in Tokyo. ICEX also sponsored a number of trade missions in the dairy, meat, and canned fruit and vegetable sectors. The Institute relies on advertising and point-of-sale promotions for fresh fruits and vegetables, and for olive oil. During 1998, the ICEX budget emphasized promotional activities for meat --particularly Serrano ham and sausages; wine; processed foods, -- mainly canned fruits and olives; canned fish; fresh fruits and vegetables; dairy products – mainly Manchego cheese; processed forest products -- mostly furniture; olive oil; and nuts.
The Madrid-based International Olive Oil Council (IOOC) promotes olive oil and table olives for all olive-producing countries. Although the IOOC is an international organization, the Spanish olive industry directly benefits from IOOC worldwide marketing programs that are funded in part by the EU government through payment of its IOOC membership dues.
Most competitor activities, including trade missions, food fairs, and seminars, are conducted by other European countries. France promotes dairy products, meat, fruits and vegetables, fish, and wine through SOPEXA, while French grain is promoted by ONIC. Italy's ICE promotes processed foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and wine. Great Britain promotes grains through British Cereal Exports, potatoes through the U.K. Potato Marketing Board and processed foods and fish through Food from Britain. The Netherlands promotes cheese, veal, fish, and potatoes. Ireland promotes meat and fish; Germany's CMA promotes cheese. Portugal promotes wine, processed foods, and dairy products. Forest products are promoted by Canada and Scandinavia. Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and the Faeroes and the Falkland Islands also promote fish.