The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is proud to announce the finalists, by category, for 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 of each category will be announced on 23 September, EU Organic Day, during a special ceremony with EU commissioner for Agriculture, Janusz Wojciechowski.
Inspiring initiatives on the ground show that the organic transition is already taking hold across Europe. The first step of the evaluation process has now been completed, and after a thorough assessment of all applications, the finalists of the following three categories are:
- For best organic SME processing food products:
Gino Girolomoni Cooperativa Agricola – Isola del Piano, Province of Pesaro and Urbino, Italy
Goodvenience.bio GmbH – Magdala, Thuringia, Germany
Labonca Biohof GmbH – Burgau, Styria, Austria
- For best organic food retailer:
Ecoveritas SA – Barcelona, Spain
La ferme à l’arbre de Liège – Lantin, Liège, Belgium
BIO MERCATO, seiVital GmbH – Kempten, Bavaria, Germany
- For best organic restaurant:
Trattino – Lyon, France
Lilla Bjers HB – Visby, Gotland Island, Sweden
Luftburg – Kolarik im Prater – Vienna, Austria
The EESC managed to get a high number of applications for these awards, thanks to its network of organised civil society, said Peter Schmidt, president of the EESC's Agriculture, Rural Development and the Environment (NAT) section.
These inspiring projects cover the whole organic value chain and show that a transition to more sustainable and fairer food systems is already happening on the ground. Policy-makers must create enabling conditions for these initiatives to thrive and be replicated everywhere, he added.
The awards were launched as part of a commitment made in the Commission's action plan for the development of organic production with the objective of recognising excellence along the organic food chain, from farmer to restaurant. It rewards the best and most innovative organic actors who contribute to reducing the agricultural impact on climate and the environment, and whose actions will help accomplish the ambitions of the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity strategies.
Choosing the finalists of the EESC awards was not an easy task, given the high-quality applications! But it was a very inspiring exercise, showing how restaurants, companies and retailers are contributing to the European Green Deal and to reaching 25% of organic farm land in the EU by 2030. We can safely say that this first edition of the EU Organic Awards was a success – and we hope to get even more applications next year, said Andreas Thurner, rapporteur for the opinion on the organic action plan.
The increase in organic farming, organic aquaculture and organic food contributes greatly to reducing the use of chemical fertilisers, pesticides and antimicrobials, and has positive effects on our climate, the environment, biodiversity and animal welfare. This is why organic production has been identified 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 called for a significant increase in organic aquaculture.
Categories and awards
Category 1: Best organic farmer (female) and Best organic farmer (male)
Category 2: Best organic region
Category 3: Best organic city
Category 4: Best organic bio-district
Category 5: Best organic SME
Category 6: Best organic food retailer
Category 7: Best organic restaurant