On 23 September, the European Economic and Social Committee announced its winners in the first ever EU Organic Awards, co-organised with the European Commission and other partners to reward excellence along the European organic value chain.

The winners were:
•    For best organic food-processing SME: Goodvenience.bio GmbH – Magdala, Thuringia, Germany
•    For best organic food retailer: La ferme à l’arbre de Liège – Lantin, Liège, Belgium
•    For best organic restaurant: Lilla Bjers HB – Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden

The winners of all categories were announced during a special ceremony held at the European Commission to mark EU Organic Day and hosted by the EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski.

EESC president Christa Schweng said: ''The EESC has led the way for years in advocating for a more sustainable and comprehensive food policy in the EU. We are therefore very proud to be a co-organiser of these awards, contributing to raising awareness of the organic sector's potential to help achieve more sustainable food systems''.

"The winners today showcased how they work in their everyday life to make the transition to more sustainable and fairer food systems a reality" said Peter Schmidt, president of the EESC's Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment (NAT) section.

The awards were launched as part of a commitment made in the Commission's action plan for the development of organic production to recognise excellence along the organic food chain, from farmer to restaurant. (ks)