The EU organic awards are jointly organised by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe. These awards aim to recognise excellence throughout the organic value chain, rewarding the best and most innovative actors in EU organic production.
The awards are the first example of EU-wide organic awards and are designed to follow up on the Action Plan for the development of organic production adopted by the Commission on 25 March 2021. This Action Plan takes the approach that, in order to stimulate organic production, consumer demand for organic products should grow. This requires, among other things, increased public awareness of the characteristics and benefits of organic production. The Action Plan therefore includes annual awards recognising excellence in the organic value chain. These awards will be presented for the first time in 2022.
The EESC has for years led the way in advocating for a more sustainable and comprehensive food policy in the EU. In particular, in its opinion on the Action Plan, adopted in September 2021, the EESC recognises the role of organic farming in achieving the objectives of the European Green Deal and considers the action plan for the development of organic production to be a solid basis for developing the organic sector in a sustainable manner. The EESC further considers that consumers should be informed about the benefits and challenges of organic products through appropriate awareness-raising measures, and therefore wishes to engage in activities to raise awareness of organic production, such as the annual EU Organic Day and the prizes for excellence in all sectors of the organic food chain.
The EESC was invited to participate in the official celebration of the first EU Organic Day, attended by Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski, on 23 September 2021, and is a co-organiser of the EU organic awards, with responsibility for three awards.
The EU organic awards scheme comprises seven categories and eight awards. They recognise actors throughout the organic value chain who have developed an excellent, innovative, sustainable and inspiring project producing real added value for organic production and consumption.
EESC president Christa Schweng:
'Organic' is more than just a label on a product. It is a whole philosophy – the way we produce and consume our food can make our planet more sustainable and help ensure it is fit for future challenges. This requires recognition and promotion throughout the food chain. The EESC is very proud to be co-hosting these awards, thus raising awareness of the organic sector's potential to help achieve more sustainable food systems. We will reward excellent, innovative, sustainable and inspiring SMEs, food retailers and restaurants that have created real added value for organic production and consumption.
More information can be found on the EU organic awards webpage and on social media via #EUOrganic.