Following the success of the first edition of the first EU Organic Awards, the call for applications for the 2nd EU Organic Awards opens today until 14 May 2023. The EU organic awards acknowledge different actors along the organic value chain that have developed an innovative, sustainable and inspiring project resulting in real added-value for organic food production and consumption. The awards ceremony will take place in Brussels on 25 September 2023.
The EU organic awards are jointly organised by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Region, COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe, with the involvement of the European Parliament and of the Council in the jury for the awards. Eight awards will be given in seven categories:
- Best organic farmer (female and male)
- Best organic region
- Best organic city
- Best organic “bio district”
- Best organic food processing SME
- Best organic food retailer
- Best organic restaurant/food service
Any EU 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. Applications in all EU official languages are welcome. They will be reviewed against the criteria of excellence, innovation, sustainability and possibility to replicate the project elsewhere in the EU, thus contributing to greater accessibility and affordability of organic products in the EU. The winners will contribute to the greater public awareness of organic production in the EU.
According to the latest Eurobarometer, recognition of the EU organic farming logo is increasing with 61% of Europeans acknowledging that they are aware of it. The share of EU agricultural land under organic farming has also increased by more than 50% over the period 2012-2020, with an annual increase of 5.7%, according to the latest market brief published by the European Commission.
By producing high quality food with low environmental impact, organic farming plays an essential role in developing a sustainable food system for the EU. In 2021, the European Commission adopted an action plan in support of the target of at least 25% of the EU’s agricultural land under organic farming and a significant increase in organic aquaculture by 2030 set out in the Farm to Fork strategy and the Biodiversity strategy. In that context, Member States were asked to set national target values for organic farming and to be generally ambitious on organic production in their CAP Strategic Plans and in their national organic action plans.
EU Commissioner for agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski said:
The EU Organic awards shine a light on the possibilities and potential of organic farming. We all know that organic methods protect ecosystems and natural resources, but last year’s award winners proved just how resilient, profitable and productive organic farming can be. I was struck by the passion and enterprise of the farmers, businesses, and local authorities who participated in last year’s awards and I look forward discovering more inspiring stories this year. I encourage all involved in the EU organic sector to put their name forward, to shine a spotlight on their work and become a beacon for sustainable food production in the European Union. Good luck to all applicants!
Ms Christa Schweng, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, said:
We need more sustainable food systems, starting from fertile soil, and reconsidering how to produce, process, distribute, sell and consume healthier and sustainable food. Organic agriculture does precisely this. It is a system for today, and for tomorrow. Last year, it was so inspiring to see the range of applications received and to exchange with the winners on their work and the challenges they face. I am looking forward to seeing what projects this year's awards bring!
Mr Vasco Alves Cordeiro, President of the European Committee of the Regions, said:
The evolving consumer demand for better quality, more sustainable, more local and healthy food including organic products can generate new opportunities for the rural economy. Organic farming has become an important source of employment and income which contribute to the objectives of the long term vision for rural areas. That is why the COR strongly supports the EU target set out in the Farm to Fork Strategy of 25% of agricultural land under organic farming by 2030. This ambition can be reached only through policy tools supporting equally the development of both organic production and demand. In this context similar promotional actions are essential to reward excellence in the organic food chain and stimulate both production and consumption of organic products.
Mr Mladen Jakopović, Copa Vice-President, said:
After the big success of the first edition of EU Organic Awards, I am very happy and thrilled to announce and support the second edition! This great initiative has an enormous importance for the European organic farmers and agri-cooperatives, as it is a special window to show our special qualities. I wish good luck to all participants and looking forward to the awards on 25 September.
Mr Jan Plagge, president of IFOAM Organics Europe, said:
We are delighted to announce the launch of the second edition of the EU Organic Awards, which serve as a valuable platform for showcasing the innovative potential of the EU organic sector, and highlighting its contribution towards achieving the objectives of the EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies. By recognizing and inspiring those who champion sustainable food and farming practices, these awards play a vital role in promoting the principles of organic farming, including care, health, ecology, and fairness. We firmly believe that the organic approach offers a powerful framework for reimagining our agri-food production system, making it more resilient, self-sufficient, and less dependent on external inputs. As we confront numerous challenges such as food security, biodiversity loss, and climate change, we hope that these awards will encourage more practitioners to transition to organic farming and become part of the solution.
- Publication date
- 25 March 2023
- Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development