Bulgarian business will be able to benefit from funding of over BGN 8.57 million for the promotion of wines in EU countries and in third countries until 2026. This is made clear by an order of the Minister of Agriculture Kiril Vatev, which specifies the annual budgets under the schemes to support “Information in the Member States” and “Promotion in third countries” from the strategic plan for the development of agriculture.
The document was signed on November 13, and the “Agriculture” fund announced that the first acceptance of projects, which will be carried out through the institution’s electronic services system, is coming. It will take place within two weeks – from December 1 to 15.
The two wine promotion schemes have different possibilities at stake.
The intervention “Information in the Member States” finances campaigns by non-governmental organizations and wine producers’ organizations aimed at informing consumers about the responsible consumption of wine and the risks associated with alcohol consumption. The other type of project that can be submitted is related to the promotion of wines with protected designations and the EU quality policy. Eligible for financing are information campaigns in the media, participation in exhibitions, fairs, festivals, organization of various events and tastings.
Now, from the order of the Minister of Agriculture, it is clear that in the financial year 2024 the business will be able to count on 760 thousand BGN European funding and nearly 456 thousand BGN – national. In 2025 and 2026, the amounts will be BGN 978 thousand from the EU and BGN 587 thousand from the state budget, respectively.
The information programs themselves in the Member States can last for one, two or three years, and under the scheme for the promotion of responsible wine consumption, a maximum of 50% of the eligible costs of the project can be received as European support and 30% as national assistance. In the other option – to promote the quality of wines with protected names, only 50% of the costs are covered through European funding.
The scheme also includes a maximum funding amount. One project can receive no more than BGN 500,000 if the information campaign is for a period of 1 year. The amount increases to BGN 750 thousand – if it is for two years and to BGN 1 million if it is for three years.
The other support scheme – “Promotion of wines in third countries” funds projects for the presentation of wines in non-EU countries, including organically produced or those with protected names. And in this case, campaigns can last one, two or three years and can include advertising in the media, participation in exhibitions, organizing events and tastings. Market research is also funded.
For the financial year 2024, the business will be able to count on BGN 686,000 in European funding and just over BGN 412,000 in national funding. For 2025 and 2026, the sums are increasing – nearly BGN 978,000 from the EU and BGN 586,000 from the national budget have been earmarked for “Information in the Member States”, it is stated in the order of the Minister of Agriculture.
What is different about this intervention is that, in addition to non-governmental organizations and producer organizations, individual commercial companies can also apply for funding. The subsidy for a project is 50% of the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund if the project envisages the visibility of trademarks or the promotion of wines that do not have protected designations. In other cases, 30% of the national budget is added to the 50% support from the EU.
Funding also grows incrementally depending on the duration of the advertising campaign. A project with a term of 1 year will be able to receive a maximum of BGN 250,000 if the applicant is a company and up to BGN 750,000 if it is an association. For two-year projects, the amount increases to a maximum of BGN 500 thousand and BGN 1 million, respectively, and for three-year projects – to BGN 750 thousand and BGN 1.25 million, it is stated in the requirements.
The viticulture and wine sector will have access to nearly 99 million euro in support until 2027. In addition to wine promotion schemes, there are also opportunities for investment in vineyards and wine enterprises, as well as obtaining insurance support. A new opportunity in the current program period is the proposed scheme for investments in environmental facilities in the wine sector, including opportunities to purchase RES equipment, construction of purification facilities, etc.
The strategic plan also includes a scheme to promote wine tourism, the rules of which, however, have not been spelled out at this stage. The reason is that interbranch organizations in the viticulture sector could apply for such financing, but such do not exist at the moment.