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EU CLEARS AUSTRIAN STATE AID FOR FOOD LABELS.

Austrian state aid worth Euro 4.9 million to support labels for quality and organic produce was cleared by the European Commission on June 30. The aid helps to fund two labels administered by the professional organisation Agrarmarkt Austria (AMA). The quality label may only be awarded to agricultural products that can prove they are of significantly higher quality than regular products. The "biolabel" may only be awarded to organic products. Any company in the EU can apply for their products to receive the label as long as they meet the programme's requirements. The Austrian government contribution pays for checks on companies participating in the programme, consumer information about the label and quality products in general, and sales promotion and advertising. The aid will be funded by a parafiscal levy which respects EU law, the Commission ruled. Products from other Member States do not have to pay the levy and products sold in other Member States will even benefit from the programme, the Austrian authorities told the Commission.

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Publication:European Report
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4E
Date:Jul 3, 2004
Words:168
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