One of the basic branches of industry in Poland is food processing. This sector is supported under the measure "Processing and marketing of agricultural products" under the Rural Development Programme for 2014-2020 (RDP). This measure is the successor of a competition entitled "Adding value to agricultural and forestry production" funded under the RDP 2007-2013. Aid can be obtained, among others, for investments including the construction, modernisation and reworking of production buildings and warehouses as well as structures constituting the infrastructure of processing plants, purchase of machinery or equipment for processing, storage or preparation of products for sale, purchase of measuring and control equipment for production process or storage, or the purchase of equipment to improve environmental friendliness. Also the costs of preparation of technical documentation, in particular cost estimates, technology designs, architectural and building designs, business plans and the costs of construction supervision.
The competition provides aid for investments in sectors processing:
- milk (excluding butter production);
- meat (excluding large-scale slaughter);
- fruits and vegetables (excluding wine and wine-based drinks);
- cereals (excluding malt production);
- flax and hemp, oilseeds, high-protein plants;
- agricultural products for energy purposes;
- services of freezing and storage of agricultural products.
Financial aid may also be extended to operations related to the wholesale of agricultural products: fruits and vegetables, flowers and plants, milk and dairy products, meat and meat products, cereal crops, rapeseed, hops as well as seeds of crops and vegetables.
The criteria for the selection of projects favour:
- agricultural producer groups, associations of groups, producer organizations or their associations;
- activities in the form of cooperatives;
- operation innovation;
- investments related to environmental protection or combating climate change;
- participation in EU or national quality schemes;
- processing of agricultural products coming directly from organic producers in the amount of at least 10% of the total amount of raw material required for production - after the completion of the operation;
- purchase of raw materials after the completion of the operation for production on the basis of at least 3-year contracts concluded directly with agricultural producers, at a level exceeding 75% of the total amount of purchased agricultural products;
- operations carried out in areas of high unemployment, higher than the national average; activities in the sectors processing and marketing: milk and dairy products, meat, fruit and vegetables and cereals.
The maximum amount of aid granted in the period of the RDP (in 2014-2020) is PLN 3 million, with the possibility of a possible increase in the future, with the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and in the case of agricultural producer groups or associations of producers - PLN 15 million. The level of funding is 50% of eligible costs.
Aid is intended only for SMEs.