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Salad bags EU funds to help freshen up image.

The British leafy salads sector has won more than [pounds sterling] 120,000 of EU match funding for a new three-year campaign to give salad sales a lift and boost the industry's reputation after the E.coli scare.

The British Leafy Salads Association, which represents wholehead and bagged salad producers, has been awarded match funding of [pounds sterling] 120,116.41 for the campaign - taking its total campaign budget to [pounds sterling] 240,262.26. The non-EU money will be provided by BLSA members.

Precise details of the campaign, which the BLSA hopes to launch in spring 2012, are still to be finalised by those BLSA members who have pledged support. However, chairman John Allan said it was likely to focus on local radio and securing editorial coverage, as well as social media. Allan hoped the campaign could engage with children through schools, he added: "We want to target future consumers to get the message out that eating salads is good for you."

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The BLSA would not seek to include in-store PoS because it did not want to alienate members who supplied salads into whole-sale. Allan said.

Although the BLSA had already been planning a campaign for 2012, the EU match funding would enable the association to increase the level of activity, he explained.

The EU has an annual budget of [euro] 55m available each year for programmes designed to promote EU-produced food and agricultural produce to consumers. In July, following May's E.coli scare, the European Commission halved the length of time it would usually take for funding proposals to go through the approval process. The Fresh Produce Consortium estimated suppliers had lost about [pounds sterling] 54m in sales of tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuces as a result of the E.coli outbreak.

The BLSA match-funding forms part of a total of [euro] 17m of funding awarded to 14 programmes across 11 member states. The association is the only UK body to win EU support in the; latest round of funding, announced last week.

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Title Annotation:FRUIT & VEG; European Union
Comment:Salad bags EU funds to help freshen up image.(FRUIT & VEG)(European Union)
Author:Ford, Richard
Publication:Grocer
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 26, 2011
Words:336
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