GUIDELINES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS AND EXPORT PROJECTS 2018
In order to increase appreciation and awareness of the product through increased sales volumes of Parmigiano Reggiano PDO on foreign markets, we will be renewing our activities to support our commercial operators’ promotional initiatives throughout 2018.
A) TRADITIONAL FUNDING
These are allocated to exclusive in-store promotions: tasting with the presence of a hostess/cutter and distribution of promotional materials (gadgets/paper materials). These resources are only available to exporting companies holding events dedicated to Parmigiano Reggiano cheese only, for which the inclusion of the minimum maturation on the labels of cut cheese is mandatory.
The maximum total amount awarded to each operator will be calculated, after receipt of detailed project information, by dividing the total allocated amount according to the respective foreign market share.
Requests must be made using the standard 2018 TRADITIONAL FUNDINGS APPLICATION FORM by 31 January 2018.
If complete and conforming, the proposals will be examined, and written confirmation of the allocation of contributions will be provided.
In the instance that the amount for the projects submitted exceeds the allocated amount, the Consortium will define the order of priority of the projects themselves.
The Consortium will support product tasting and promotion days run by specialized, trained personnel; this may be combined with the distribution of information material and/or official gadgets purchased directly from participating suppliers:
Companies are required to send in advance a detailed schedule of point-of-sale activities to Ufficio Estero (International Office) using the form: 2018 TRADITIONAL FUNDINGS SCHEDULE PLANNER WORKSHEET (providing prior notice of any activities that differ from those previously communicated);
a contact person in the retail chain must be indicated for audit activities which may be conducted directly or indirectly by our representative agencies;
the contribution will be on a lump sum basis, i.e. calculated per individual point of sale according to this standard daily unit cost table:
- cost of a promotion day without distribution of official materials: €200
- cost of a promotion day with distribution of official materials: €300
non-official promotional material will not be accounted for;
the contribution awarded by the Consortium can cover a maximum of 50% of the activity cost.
B) EXPORT PROJECTS 2018
Export projects strictly require the prior and direct involvement of the Consortium, and this involvement must also continue through to the operational programming and actual implementation phases, which may include support from the Consortium’s foreign marketing agencies in some cases.
The initial proposals must be submitted and discussed in advance with the Ufficio Estero (International Office) and/or the Consortium management, possibly with the foreign chain/importer present at the Consortium headquarters (or in some other agreed location, or by video conference).
Companies who wish to apply must submit, by 31 January 2018, an application for each project/market, fully completing the 2018 EXPORT PROJECT APPLICATION FORM in detail.
The contents of the projects must:
- be linked to the objectives of increasing awareness of the distinctive nature of Parmigiano Reggiano and promoting the product;
- include a growth target for the yearly incremental quantities per retail chain;
- involve some kind of qualitative improvement e.g. the inclusion of a premium product, long maturation periods and/or innovative products, and presentation of the product at the various POS;
- guarantee the exclusivity of the type of promotion: the same activity content may not be used to promote hard paste cheeses in the same year, country, chain or channel for which the contribution is allocated;
- promote Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and display the minimum maturation periods on the labels of cut cheese.
- The maximum contribution payable for an individual project, understood to mean the planning of activities by virtue of a relationship between a proposer (e.g. EXPORTER) and a final foreign recipient (e.g. LARGE RETAIL CHAIN) in a certain country will be €150,000. Although there is no minimum investment threshold, in the preliminary phase, the suitability of the proposed investment for the planned activities and anticipated results will be verified.
Each project will be evaluated individually and submitted to the Executive Committee for approval, of which written confirmation will later be provided. This evaluation will take account of the following general criteria: enhancement of Parmigiano Reggiano’s distinctive brand, priority to 24-month or more minimum maturation products, type of geographical area involved, performance of the proposed activities (both as an individual event and as a yearly total for the chain in question), the applicant’s total performance in terms of 2018 sales of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Over the year, the Consortium will be able to conduct checks to ensure the correct execution of the planned activities.
Companies are required to send in advance a detailed schedule of point-of-sale activities to our Ufficio Estero (International Office) using the form: 2018 EXPORT PROJECTS SCHEDULE PLANNER WORKSHEET (giving prior notice of any activities that differ from those previously communicated) and that any material other than official promotional material must be authorised in advance by the Consortium (companies are therefore requested to forward any such material in good time to allow for any requested changes to be implemented).
2018 ACCESS CRITERIA
Applications for contributions may only be sent in by exporting companies:
- who have given permission for an accounting audit to be carried out by the auditing company (where required);
- who have provided data on their volume of sales in the respective markets for 2016 and 2017 to the statistical data service of the CRPA (Animal Production Research Centre) using the 2017 COMPANY SURVEY;
- who have signed the 2018 PROJECT PARTICIPATION DECLARATION;
- who have signed the Agreement with the Consortium to adhere to the GRATING AND PORTIONING LABORATORY MONITORING PROGRAMME;
- in the case of outsourcing to third party companies, or the sale of products cut or grated by third party companies, these third party companies must have signed the Agreement with the Consortium to adhere to the GRATING AND PORTIONING LABORATORY MONITORING PROGRAMME.
The 2017 COMPANY SURVEY must reach us by 20 January 2018 so as to enable calculation of the respective market shares, based on which the 2018 allocation of funds for traditional contributions will be determined. These data may be verified by the auditing company carrying out the audit of the company/administrative offices.
Data must be sent for the attention of Claudio Montanari (e-mail: [email protected]; telephone: 0522/436999) copying in the Consortium’s Ufficio Estero (International Office) (e-mail: [email protected]).
The 2018 PROJECT PARTICIPATION DECLARATION must be completed and returned signed, together with the first export project submitted for 2018.
All the documentation required by these guidelines must be sent to the Consortium’s Ufficio Estero (international office) via the following e-mail address: [email protected]
All activities must be completed by 31 December 2018.
Please be reminded that activities undertaken simultaneously with promotions for rival products will not be deemed acceptable (any type of activity).
The exporting company that has received a formal assignment of resources must inform the Consortium in writing and in good time of the scheduled activities, specifying the number of days and the activities that will take place.
On the start date, the contribution amount will be considered to be accruing.
Should the company wish to receive the resources sooner, they may issue a formal advance invoice to cover the expected costs, within the limits of the sum assigned, along with a bank guarantee/insurance surety for an equal amount.
Upon receipt of written request from the Consortium throughout the year, the exporting company agrees to send updates on the progress of each project in good time. During the course of the year, the contribution amount assigned may also be reduced in instances of non-adherence to the Guidelines or of a “negative” rating.
On the final date of the activities, which must be 31 January 2019 at the latest (including for projects scheduled over the Christmas period), the exporting company must communicate in writing a summary of the completed activities and the amount of the contribution actually accrued. Failure to do so will result in the loss of the entire contribution.
Although there is no official form for the “end of activities written communication”, it must nonetheless be issued according to articles 46 and 47 of DPR no. 445/2000, and in the knowledge that false declarations are punishable by criminal law and the specific laws on the matter, in line with Art. 76 of DPR no. 445/2000.
The amount communicated may be considered as approved and definitively assigned, except in the cases outlined below. Following this communication, the company may issue an official invoice for the total amount, within the limits of the amount allocated, and net of any amount already requested in advance, indicating the year 2018. Funds will be paid after the verification of the project summary (see below), which the company must send before the strict deadline of 30 June 2019).
Should the company wish to receive the resources before this deadline, they may also send a bank guarantee/insurance surety for an equal amount.
The detailed summary for each project/chain must include:
- audio-visual materials, images of the events themselves (focusing on tastings and the use of official material where this was anticipated);
- the final schedule.
- For EXPORT projects, copies are also required of all the invoices and relevant proof of payment, sub-contractors’ invoices, as well as original copies of any advertisements and/or materials created ad hoc.
(use the templates 2018 EXPORT PROJECTS EXPENSE REPORT WORKSHEET or 2018 TRADITIONAL FUNDING EXPENSE REPORT WORKSHEET)
The Consortium reserves the right to closely check and/or audit the documentation and summaries received, including by means of specific document-based auditing activities which may take place on the premises of the company concerned (to which, by their involvement in this scheme, the beneficiary consents).
Should these checks reveal any deviation from the “end of activities written communication”, the Consortium will inform the exporting company who will amend the invoice, billing the Consortium for the amount of the deviance itself, applying a sanction equal to 30% of the negative deviance, should the latter be greater than 10%.
SUSPENSION OF PAYMENT
Should the beneficiary have any pending disputes with the Consortium in the national or arbitrations courts, as a risk-cover guarantee in case of a judgement against the applicant, the Consortium will withhold until judgement the sum of the internal and external costs sustained by the Consortium for litigation management and potential non-compensation by the judge.
Companies applying for 2018 contributions will be subject to a subjective rating based on:
- new serious nonconformities found by OCQ-PR in 2017/2018;
- new violations sanctioned and/or reported by the CFPR supervisor to official authorities and/or sanctioned by other competent national authorities (ICQ, NAC, NAS, CFS) in 2017/2018;
- nonconformities detected through official CFPR analyses (cyclopropyl acid and isotopes);
- serious anomalies found by the Consortium’s Grating and Portioning Monitoring Programme;
- deviations detected in the mandatory accounting audit carried out by the primary auditing company appointed by the Consortium.
As regards Item 3), please note that samples taken from commercial lots (with several samples from the same lot) during ordinary supervision activities in Italy or abroad, will be tested to ensure authenticity of the product. The tests are:
- lysozyme: absent
- isotopic and mineral profile: in conformity with Parmigiano Reggiano
- cyclopropyl acids: <0.01%
Samples found to be non-conforming in one of these tests, subject to assessment of the potential criminal or administrative proceedings the Consortium reserves the right to file, will be sent for a second analysis on an additional sample, after informing and involving the company concerned. If positivity is confirmed in the second analysis, the company will be considered as nonconforming in terms of "export rating".
In the instance of a “negative” rating, the Consortium reserves the right to reduce the contribution amount paid to the operator.