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Measures to promote the consumption of olive oil in the Community

In order to promote the consumption of olive oil in the Community, the European Commission has published a tender relating to measures to implement a two-year publicity campaign in this area. The overall amount to be allocated to the measures is ECU 30,000,000 for the sixth t...

In order to promote the consumption of olive oil in the Community, the European Commission has published a tender relating to measures to implement a two-year publicity campaign in this area. The overall amount to be allocated to the measures is ECU 30,000,000 for the sixth two-year period campaign. The measures to be implemented are as follows: - Title A: Collection and dissemination of scientific knowledge on the nutritional qualities of olive oil (maximum amount: ECU 5,660,000): The basic scientific information to be disseminated is the same for all the Member States and is supplied to the agencies by the Commission's staff. In order to standardize communication and disseminate a message offering every guarantee of scientific reliability, presented in a way which is clear and accessible for the various target populations, the Commission is seeking the assistance of a research institute or an expert in lipids/nutrition to be responsible for: . Collecting, evaluating and systematizing the basic scientific information disseminated during previous olive-oil promotion campaigns; . Compiling, in all the Community languages, a selection of results from research carried out on the Commission's behalf into mono-unsaturated fatty acids and other studies carried out by scientific institutes into the nutritional qualities of olive oil; . Preparing fact sheets on the benefits of olive oil in terms of health and nutrition; . Defining the target audiences (medical and/or paramedical professions, specialized press, end-consumers); . Verifying the scientific content of printed and/or audiovisual material to be disseminated in the context of publicity campaigns and public relations; . Evaluating currently available means of communication; . Studying possible forms of active involvement, such as talks, written and oral communications, at national and/or international congresses. The scientific information thus prepared will be placed at the disposal of the agencies responsible for disseminating it according to a media plan, which they must submit for the Commission's approval. In order to rationalize the work, dissemination will involve the use of the most appropriate media for each situation. Priority will be given to proposals which have the backing of an ex-ante cost-effectiveness analysis and are to be implemented according to a modulated programme, for instance by: - Groups of Member States; - Language groups; - Groups of geographical regions; - Production and consumption areas. However, even within a programme covering all or part of the Community territory, the particularities of individual markets must be taken into consideration. Information may also be disseminated via a wide range of channels, including: - Films and audiovisual educational material for schools and universities; - Meetings organized around the themes of nutrition, health and food hygiene. - Title B: Communication measures: publicity and public relations (maximum amount: ECU 23,320,000 ): Schemes are to be implemented in all 12 Member States. It is intended to select a limited number of agencies which will be entrusted with the implementation of a simplified programme. Priority will be given to proposals which have the backing of an ex-ante cost-effectiveness analysis and are to be implemented according to a modulated programme, for instance by: - Groups of Member States; - Language groups; - Groups of geographical regions; - Production and consumption areas. However, even within a programme covering all or part of the Community territory, the particularities of individual markets must be taken into consideration. Proposals must give details of the publicity operations and media campaigns envisaged, placing the main emphasis on television where possible, together with the cost of each proposed operation and the reasons for choosing it. Given the genuine interest shown in olive oil in all the Member States during previous campaigns, and in order to consolidate and/or open up new markets in non-producing countries, it is necessary to increase the share of funds allocated to investment in publicity. A number of Euro-Info-Centres selected throughout the Community will serve as information relay points. The following types of information activity come into consideration in the light of previous campaigns: - Television placements; - Community-wide gastronomy competitions; - Participation at food fairs and other exhibitions; - Sponsoring of major sports or cultural events suitable for drawing attention to olive oil; - Information in schools. Bids should include suggestions as to procedures for implementing measures of this type or, where appropriate, state the reasons why other measures would be preferable. Naturally, bids should focus on communication media that correspond to the characteristics of the market, the budget available and the potential effectiveness of the proposed measures. The theme of the campaign will be olive oil, of all qualities, with nomination of brand names of national or geographical origins. Appropriate space should be given to information on the special characteristics of virgin and extra-virgin olive oil, especially in Spain. The image of olive oil that the Commission wishes to spread is the following: - Olive oil, particularly virgin olive oil, offers a very wide and varied range of unique flavours, from very mild to very fruity; all variations of taste and aroma arise naturally and additives are never used; - Olive oil is a healthy food; it has been used over a long period in the Mediterranean countries, where the incidence of cardiovascular disease is traditionally very low; its virtues have recently been rediscovered by scientists, who are recommending it as a constituent of a healthy and balanced diet. The promotional campaign will therefore be based on: - The nutritional qualities of olive oil; - Its gastronomic qualities; - A combination of the two factors. As far as gastronomy is concerned, the organoleptic characteristics and various properties of olive oil are particularly important, especially in Spain, as they make it a product which gives excellent results in certain cooking methods and in certain dishes. As far as olive oil and diet are concerned, the information and arguments used must be selected exclusively from the scientific documentation supplied by the Commission. In this context the role of olive oil in a balanced diet should be stressed. Only the use of "positive" arguments is allowed. Emphasis should be given to information on the official names for the different qualities of olive oil on sale in the Member States and disseminating this knowledge through the organization of tastings of all kinds, particularly of virgin and extra-virgin oil. The campaign should be targeted at: - Those who are already regular consumers, with a view to encouraging them to keep up their consumption of olive oil and, where appropriate, to increase the share of olive oil in their meals, i.e. by using it also for frying, in salads and on many other occasions; - Potential new consumers, with a view to encouraging them to include olive oil in their oil/fat consumption patterns; tenderers must provide consumer profiles accurately reflecting this market. In order to reach these target groups the campaign should first reach the intermediate targets, such as restaurant chefs, amateur cooks, the gastronomic media and their journalists, all persons likely to be professionally concerned, and associations, organizations and other bodies likely to further the campaign's objectives. The campaign must use the Community olive-oil logo, to the exclusion of any other logo or distinguishing symbol. The financial participation of the Community must be clearly indicated. - Title C: Surveys and evaluations (maximum amount: ECU 420,000): In the course of the sixth biennial campaign (1994-96), sampling surveys must be conducted to find out how much consumers remember about the measures implemented and how effective the measures have been in encouraging consumers to buy the product or enhancing their awareness of olive oil. The surveys should also enable Commission staff to evaluate the effectiveness of the work done by the agencies in implementing the promotional measures before authorizing them to embark on the second phase of the campaign. Lastly, by emphasizing the strong points and weaknesses of the measures covered in the survey, it will be possible to adjust the course of the campaign and design future programmes to meet the requirements of consumers and producers more closely. - Title D: Technical assistance with communication and cost analysis (maximum amount: ECU 600,000): . Technical assistance with communication: The Commission is seeking the services of a specialized firm of consultants capable of providing technical assistance to Commission staff during implementation of measures in all the countries covered by the campaign. Description of tasks: - Analysis of proposals submitted by the agencies with a view to the finalization of programmes; - Selection of strategic instruments and customizing them to match the objectives and targets of the campaign; - Supervision of all the agencies' activities during the campaign; - Planning of measures necessary to take advantage of, or manage, events liable to affect the outcome of the campaign. Proposals will be assessed for: - The professional experience of the tenderer in matters of generic and institutional communication; publicity and public relations; - Familiarity with the olive-oil sector. . Technical assistance with cost analysis: The Commission is seeking the services of a firm of consultants capable of providing technical assistance to Commission staff in the analysis of the cost of measures in all countries covered by the campaign. Description of tasks: - Before the conclusion of contracts: analysis of financial aspects and cost-effectiveness ratio of proposals submitted; - After completion of measures: on-site checks to ascertain that measures have complied with contractual obligations, in particular with regard to financial estimates. Tenderers' proposals will be assessed on the basis of their professional experience, especially in the fields of communication and public relations. Tenderers may submit bids relating to other types of assistance sought by the Commission. However, bids for each must be submitted separately. - Title E: Common rules: Tenderers must be nationals of a Member State and/or have their head office in a Member State. Tenderers must provide a timetable of the measures to be carried out, giving the reasons for them. The description of the tenderers' proposals must make it possible to evaluate: - Their strategies in regard to product image, markets, targets and means of communication proposed; - The creative aspects; - Their relationship to the main gastronomic circles in the country or countries concerned. Tenderers' knowledge of olive oil, the various markets for it and its nutritional properties will be important factors in the assessment of their proposals. Consumers' organizations must be informed by the successful tenderers of the content of the promotional campaign. In each proposal, a budget reserve must be included in order to meet contingencies. The research institute or lipidologist and agencies selected will need to collaborate closely with the Community Intertrade Olive Oil Committee (CICHO) and selected Euro-Info-Centres. CICHO will play an advisory role on the question of olive-oil promotion when the campaign is under way. Tenders are to be sent to: European Commission Directorate-General for Agriculture Unit VI/F-3 (Promotion of Agricultural Products) 200 rue de la Loi (L130 9/5) B-1049 Brussels