EU Organic Awards – Get to know the finalists

BRUSSELS, 20 JULY 2022 – Today, the finalists for the first annual EU organic awards have been announced. 24 are shortlisted for 8 awards in 7 categories, such as best organic farmer male / female, best organic SME, retailer, restaurant, bio-district, region, city (see below), coming from 11 different Member States. The finalists were chosen from a pool of over 200 submissions from 26 Member States.  

Jan Plagge, IFOAM Organics Europe’s President, said: “The finalists to the EU Organic Awards showcase the innovative potential of the European organic movement and show inspirational and replicable examples of how the sector contributes to the EU Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies’ goals. The current climate crisis we experience with more extreme heat and rainfall across Europe shows the EU should seek to speed up its work towards an agroecological and social farming model which is more resilient, fairer, healthier, more knowledge-intensive and based on shorter supply chains. If anything, the combined crises we are facing expose the fragilities of the agro-industrial model, highly dependent on global imports and exports, fossil-fuels, and non-circular inputs. The EU Farm to Fork Strategy sets the right mid- and long- term objectives to ensure food security in an uncertain and volatile world.” 

Eric Gall, IFOAM Organics Europe’s Deputy Director, adds that “These awards are a source of inspiration to all those making our food and farming system more sustainable, using organic’s potential and example. The awards’ criteria are based on the holistic principles of organic – care, health, ecology & fairness. Organic’s system approach should lead a re-think our food system, making it more independent from external inputs, less input-intensive and more resilient. The finalists’ inspiring achievements can serve as an example for many practitioners to switch to organic and be part of the solution.” 

The winners of the eight awards will be announced at the official awards ceremony in Brussels on 23 September, as one of a range of events and activities to mark the new annual EU organic day. Are you organising something on EU Organic Day? Share it with us and we might take it up on our website and in our online communication! 

Meet the finalists in each category

Best organic farmer (female)

  • Katharina Lichtmannsperger (VLG Obervetterbachgut) – Thalgau, Salzburg, Austria 
  • Nazaret Mateos Álvarez (Entresetas) – Paredes de Nava, Palencia, Spain 
  • Sara Vezza (Azienda Agricola Sara Vezza) – Localitá Castelleto, Monforte d’Alba, Piemonte, Italy 

Best organic farmer (male)

  • 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 

Best organic region

  • Occitanie, France 
  • Centre-Val de Loire, France 
  • Valencia, Spain 

Best organic city

  • Gemeinde Seeham am Obertrumer See, Salzburg, Austria 
  • Municipality of Troyan, Bulgaria 
  • Stadt Wien, Austria 

Best organic bio-district

  • Associazione Bio-Distretto Cilento – Campania, Italy 
  • Association Biovallée – Eurre, France 
  • Centro Municipal Cultura e Desenvolvimento de Idanha-a-Nova – Centro region, Portugal 

Best organic SME

  • Gino Girolomoni Cooperativa Agricola – Isola del Piano, Pesaro and Urbino province, Italy 
  • Goodvenience.bio GmbH – Magdala, Thuringia, Germany 
  • Labonca Biohof GmbH – Burgau, Styria, Austria 

Best organic retailer

  • Ecoveritas SA – Barcelona, Spain 
  • La ferme à l’arbre de Liège – Lantin, Liège, Belgium 
  • Bio MERCATO, seiVital GmbH – Kempten, Bavaria, Germany 

Best organic restaurant

  • Trattino – Lyon, France 
  • Lilla Bjers HB – Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden 
  • Kolariks Freizeitsbetriebe GesmbH Restaurant Luftburg – Prater – Wien, Austria 

Further information about the candidates, the selection criteria, and the awards in general can be found on the EU organic awards webpage. If you have any questions about the awards, please address them to the organisers responsible for each category: 

Background information

Why these awards? 

The European Commission identified organic as playing a key role in achieving 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 adopted the Action Plan for the Development of Organic Production in March 2021. This Action Plan takes the approach that, 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. It will be awarded for the first time in 2022. 

How did we go about? 

Entries were invited from any actor or institution along the organic value chain with an excellent, innovative, sustainable and replicable project contributing to greater accessibility and affordability of organic products in the EU. The jury will select the winners in each category by judging their projects against the horizontal award criteria and also considers the organic principles of health, ecology, fairness and care.  

The awards are jointly organised by the Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe. The jury for the awards consists of representatives from these organisations, as well as representatives from the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. 

Useful links 

Do you have an initiative that does not fit the awards but is transforming EU food and farming? Consider submitting it to Organics Europe’s www.euorganic2030.bio, showing initiatives that are transforming food and farming.

On 25 March 2022, the co-organisers opened the application period for the first edition of the EU Organic Awards.

For more information please contact: 
Eva Berckmans, Communications Manager 
+32 2 416 52 32, [email protected] 
or visit www.organicseurope.bio 

IFOAM Organics Europe is the European umbrella organisation for organic food and farming. With almost 200 members in 34 European countries, our work spans the entire organic food chain and beyond: from farmers and processors organisations, retailers, certifiers, consultants, traders and researchers to environmental and consumer advocacy bodies. In 2022, IFOAM Organics Europe is turning 20, IFOAM Organics International 50 and IFOAM Asia 10. Celebrate the Year of Organics with us! 

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