About the EU organic awards
Increases in organic farming, aquaculture and food contribute greatly to reductions in the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and anti-microbials and have positive effects on our climate, the environment, biodiversity and animal welfare. That is why organic production has been identified as playing a key role in the achievement of the objectives of the European Green Deal, the Farm to Fork strategy and the Biodiversity strategy. For this reason, the Commission has defined a target of 25% of EU agricultural land under organic farming by 2030 and a significant increase in organic aquaculture.
In support of that target, the Commission has adopted the Action Plan for the Development of Organic Production in March 2021. This Action Plan takes the approach that, in order to stimulate organic production, consumer demand for organic products should grow. This requires, amongst other things, increased public awareness of the characteristics and benefits of organic production.
For this purpose, the Action Plan includes the launch of annual awards recognising excellence in the organic value chain. They aim to reward the best and most innovative organic actors, contributing to the reduction of agriculture’s impact on the environment and climate, and to the achievement of EU Biodiversity and Farm to Fork strategies.
The inaugural EU organic awards ceremony will take place in Brussels on 23 September 2022, as one of a range of activities and events to mark EU organic day.
Award categories and awards
The EU organic awards comprises 8 awards across 7 different categories. They acknowledge different actors along the organic value chain that have developed an excellent, innovative, sustainable and inspiring project producing real added value for organic production and consumption.
On 20 July 2022, the list of finalists for the first edition of the awards was announced. Information on the different categories and the finalists that have been shortlisted for them is provided below.
The objective of this award is to recognise a farmer (one female and one male) for the work they are doing in the field of organics. This award is organised by COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe.
Katharina Lichtmannsperger (VLG Obervetterbachgut) - Thalgau, Salzburg, Austria
Nazaret Mateos Álvarez (Entresetas) - Paredes de Nava, Palencia, Spain
Sara Vezza (Azienda Agricola Sara Vezza) - Localitá Castelletto, Monforte d’Alba, Piemonte, Italy
Gianpaolo Mancini (Il Sentiero del Riccio) - Sicignano degli Alburni, Salerno, Campania, Italy
David Pejic (Zrno eko imanje) - Dubrava, Zagreb County, Croatia
Tom Kass (Kass-Haff S.àrl) - Rollingen, Luxembourg
This award will recognise an EU region for its actions to promote organic production and consumption. The award is organised by the European Committee of the Regions.
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Comunitat Valenciana, Spain
This award will recognise a city for its actions to promote organic production and consumption. The award is organised by the European Committee of the Regions.
Gemeinde Seeham am Obertrumer See, Salzburg, Austria
Municipality of Troyan, Bulgaria
Stadt Wien, Austria
This award will recognise a bio-district. A bio-district is a geographical area where farmers, citizens, tourist operators, associations and public authorities come together to sustainably manage local resources, based on organic principles and practices. The award is organised by the European Committee of the Regions.
Associazione Bio-Distretto Cilento - Campania, Italy
Association Biovallée - Eurre, France
Centro Municipal Cultura e Desenvolvimento de Ihanha-a-Nova - Centro region, Portugal
This award will recognise an EU-based SME involved in processing organic products. The award is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee.
Gino Girolomoni Cooperativa Agricola - Isola del Piano, Pesaro and Urbino province, Italy
Goodvenience.bio GmbH - Magdala, Thuringia, Germany
Labonca Biohof GmbH - Burgau, Styria, Austria
This award will recognise an EU-based food retailer selling organic products. The award is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee.
Ecoveritas SA - Barcelona, Spain
La ferme à l’arbre de Liège - Lantin, Liège, Belgium
Bio MERCATO, seiVital GmbH - Kempten, Bavaria, Germany
This award will recognise a restaurant either stand-alone or as part of the hotel or catering sector proposing organic certified references in their menu. The award is organised by the European Economic and Social Committee.
Trattino - Lyon, France
Lilla Bjers HB - Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden
Kolariks Freizeitsbetriebe GesmbH Restaurant Luftburg - Prater, Wien, Austria
These awards are non-financial and will be handed out on 23 September, which is EU Organic Day.
The EU organic awards are jointly organised by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe.
The jury deciding on the final winners will comprise representatives of:
- The European Commission,
- The European Economic and Social Committee,
- The European Committee of the Regions,
- IFOAM Organics Europe,
- The European Parliament and
- The Council of the European Union.
Reasons to apply
Do you want to contribute to the greater public awareness of organic production in the EU? Do you want to contribute to the greater affordability and/or accessibility of organic products in the EU? Have you developed and implemented, or are you still implementing, an excellent, innovative, sustainable and replicable project for this purpose? Do you want to make this project better known to the public?
If the answer to any of the above questions is 'yes', you should consider entering for the next edition of the EU organic awards. If you win, you will receive a non-financial recognition award and greater public visibility for your project. So whether you are:
- an organic farmer
- a city or region serving organic meals to patients or pupils or otherwise promoting organic production
- a business in the organic food chain with a unique approach
- you should think about entering the EU organic awards.
Applicants for the 2022 EU organic awards were asked to:
- read the different sections of this website, in particular the eligibility criteria and the selection criteria;
- choose the award category they wished to enter;
- apply online from 25 March 2022;
- provide answers to closed guiding questions (some relating to the four principles of organic and the sustainability pillars), to help the jury to obtain more information about the applicants.
Who can apply?
Any actor or institution along the organic value chain with a noteworthy project contributing to the greater affordability and/or accessibility of organic products in the EU can apply. Project promoters must be established or residents in the EU. Applications must be submitted in one of the official EU languages and the projects EU based.
Applications for the EU Organic Awards shall meet the following eligibility criteria:
a) Applications must be submitted from 25 March 2022 to 8 June 2022 23:59:59 CEST via the links available in the award categories and awards section on this webpage.
b) Applications must be in one of the official EU languages.
c) Applicants must be legal or natural persons established or resident in one of the 27 Member States of the EU.
d) The project submitted must be EU based and refer clearly to one of the 7 award categories/8 awards of 2022. The same project cannot be submitted for several award categories/awards. Each applicant can only apply for one award. The maximum number of applications per award is one.
e) The project should either have been fully implemented already or should be in a sufficiently mature state so as to enable the jury to assess it (i.e. physical implementation should be advanced enough to demonstrate the achievement of the objectives).
f) Specific eligibility criteria for each award category:
- Best organic farmer (female) and Best organic farmer (male): Certified accordingly to the Regulation (EU) 2018/848 on organic production and labelling of organic products;
- Best organic region: No specific eligibility criteria;
- Best organic city: No specific eligibility criteria;
- Best organic bio-district: A bio-district is defined as a geographical area where farmers, the public, tourist operators, associations and public authorities enter into an agreement for the sustainable management of local resources, based on organic principles and practices;
- Best organic SME: An enterprise certified according to Regulation (EU) 2018/848, complying with the SME definition (an enterprise that employs fewer than 250 persons and has an annual turnover not exceeding EUR 50 million, and /or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 43 million) and having 100% organic production (to be understood as organic products or in conversion);
- Best organic food retailers: An enterprise certified according to Regulation (EU) 2018/848 and having 100% organic certified references (to be understood as organic products or in conversion) on sale (excluding non-food products or food products for which there is no organic availability);
- Best organic restaurant: Having 100% organic (to be understood as organic products or in conversion) certified references in their menu, where possible (in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2018/848).
All eligible applications will be assessed by the EU Organic Awards jury against the following horizontal award criteria:
- Excellence: The awardee must have developed an excellent initiative producing real added value for organic production. This means good results and impact of the project in relation to its initial objectives. Projects shall demonstrate their impact on the area and territory concerned and show their results against the initially set targets and objectives.
- Innovative character of the project in the selected award category: Projects shall not be "business as usual", but should demonstrate new approaches, new organisational methods, or the development of new (or significantly) improved results for organics. The criteria for measuring the innovative character for each category are better detailed in the dedicated section of the category.
- Sustainability pillars (environmental, social and economic) of the project: Projects shall demonstrate their sustainability and their future as a self-standing initiative or project.
- Transferability and possibility to replicate the project elsewhere in the EU: The project shall demonstrate that it represents good practice in a wider (EU) context and that it inspires or could inspire other places. The project should also show good ways of communicating its goals and results.
- 25 March 2022
Launch of the application period for the awards
- 8 June 2022
Deadline for the submission for applications for the awards: 8 June 2022, 23:59:59 CEST.
- September 2022
- 23 September 2022
An award ceremony will be organised on the EU Organic day on 23 September 2022. If circumstances allow for a physical award ceremony, the winners will be invited to an event in Brussels to collect their awards. This event will involve representatives of the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe. Winners will be able to explain their project to a broader public.
Organic farming, aquaculture and food in the EU
Regulation (EU) 2018/848 states in recital 1 that “Organic production is an overall system of farm management and food production that combines best environmental and climate action practices, a high level of biodiversity, the preservation of natural resources and the application of high animal welfare standards and high production standards in line with the demand of a growing number of consumers for products produced using natural substances and processes”.
Organic production is increasing in the EU. In 2019, 8.5% of EU agricultural land was under organic farming. This equalled 13.8 million hectares, up from 9.5 million hectares in 2012, a 45.8% increase. The countries accounting for most of the EU agricultural land under organic farming were Spain (2.4 billion hectares, 17.4% of the EU total), France (2.2 billion hectares, 16.2% of the EU total), Italy (2.0 billion hectares, 14.5% of the total) and Germany (1.3 billion hectares, 9.4% of the EU total) as per Eurostat organic farming statistics.
Across the entire value chain, almost 344,000 organic producers and over 78,000 organic processors were active in the EU. Organic farmers benefit from the price premiums that organic products fetch on the market and the rapidly growing final consumer demand for organic products. In 2019, the EU market accounted for 38.8 billion euro in a global market of 106.4 billion euro, second after the US market accounting for 48.2 billion. Large markets in the EU are Germany (12.0 billion) euro and France (11.3 billion euro), as per FIBL statistics.
Per capita consumer expenditure on organic products is highest in Denmark (344 euro, equivalent to 12% of grocery shopping) and Luxembourg (264 euro, equivalent to 8% of grocery shopping), as per as per FIBL statistics.
Consumer awareness of the EU organic logo is increasing. In 2020, 56% of Eurobarometer survey respondents recognised the logo, compared to 27% in 2017. 80% of survey respondents believe that organic products are more environmentally friendly and respect higher animal welfare standards.
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