The European Commission has today unveiled the winners of the second edition of the EU
Organic Awards, promoting excellence along the organic agriculture value chain. A jury involving representatives of the EU's executive and of the European Committee of the Regions, has selected Burgenland as Europe's best organic region, Vienna as the best organic city, and the Portuguese municipality of Idanha-a-Nova as best organic district.
The awards are jointly organised by the European Commission, the
European Committee of the Regions
European Economic and Social Committee, COPA-COGECA and
IFOAM Organics Europe
, with the support of the European Parliament and the Council of the
European Union. One region, one city and one bio-district were honoured
with an EU Organic Award:
Best organic region to the
in Austria. Burgenland has become a role model for regions seeking to
convert agricultural land from conventional to organic farming thanks to
its innovative and science-based "Bioland Burgenland" strategy.
The strategy aims not only to increase the share of agricultural land
farmed organically to 50% by 2030, but also to enhance the complete
organic supply chain, including for regional canteens, buffets and
Best organic city to Vienna in
Austria. The Austrian capital produces organic agricultural
products for its inhabitants from its 44,000 hectares of forest
and agricultural land in its far-reaching organic ‘farm to fork’
concept. Thanks to this initiative, the local economy is
strengthened via the development of a regional value chain, which
provides support to sustainable agriculture and diets.
Best organic bio-district to
in Portugal. The eco-region is the largest area of agricultural land
under organic farming in Portugal, supporting projects that reinforce
short supply chains and increase the offer of organic products.
Isilda Maria Prazeres Gomes
(PT/PES), president of the CoR Commission for Natural Resources
said: " A
bio-districts approach is a promising concept for rural development in
the framework of the Long-term Vision for the EU's Rural Areas. I
believe that bio-districts are a great opportunity for local and
regional authorities to support the development of sustainable food
systems, relying on collaboration between farmers, citizens/consumers,
local public administrations, associations and commercial, tourist and
cultural enterprises acting according to the principles and methods of
organic production and consumption. I hope that the bio-district award
handed to Idanha-a-Nova will support the development of these innovative
and promising collaborations.
(DA/Greens), member and representative of the CoR in the Organic Awards
jury, stated: “
The increase in the prices of many consumer goods have led some
consumers to reduce spending on organic products in some Member States.
Today, even more than yesterday, the role of local authorities is
essential to offer sales opportunities over the medium to long-term to
organic farmers. The winners of the 2023 Organic Awards show us the
best practices to follow to reach our goal of 25% of EU agricultural
land under organic farming by 2030 and to build a more resilient and
sustainable food system in Europe."
EU Commissioner for Agriculture,
, hosted the awarding ceremony and said: “
I would like to congratulate all winners.
In cultivating our land with the principles of organic farming, they
not only nourish our soil, but also provide healthy and quality
products. Today’s EU Organic Awards winners are the prime examples of
how the production and availability of more organic food can bring
benefits to farmers, consumers, and society at large.”
Organic farming is one of the success stories of EU farming. It represents
an attractive sector for EU farmers, bringing environmental, economic and
social benefits. As such, the promotion of organic production is also an
important feature of the European Green Deal, which includes the
Farm to Fork strategy
. Following the
Plan for the Development of Organic Production in the EU,
adopted in 2021, the European Commission has been working to further promote
the benefits of organic production. The share of EU agricultural land under
organic farming has increased by more than 50% between 2012 and 2020, with
an annual increase of 5.7%. Unfortunately, this positive trend has eroded
in recent years, in part reflecting a drop in consumption. In the current
Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP), all 28 CAP Strategic Plans include funding to support organic
farming. At the EU level, it is expected that about 10% of agricultural
area will be receiving CAP support for organic farming by 2027, twice the
percentage in 2020. However, on current trends, the EU will not meet its
objective of 25% of agricultural land being under organic farming by 2030.
Local and regional authorities are therefore being encouraged to invest
even more in this sector, by sharing best practices at the EU level.
The EU Organic Awards scheme comprises 7 categories and 8 individual
awards. They recognise excellent, innovative, sustainable and inspiring
projects that are producing real-added value for organic production and
Five other awards were presented:
Best organic farmer (female) to Clara Benito Pacheco in
Spain. Ms Benito Pacheco runs an extensive organic goat farm fed
exclusively on native grass. Her freely grazing ecological herd
contributes to biodiversity. Thanks to virtual fence technologies, and
the use of GPS collars, adult animals can graze freely as physical
fences are no longer needed, contributing towards carbon
sequestration in grassland.
Best organic farmer (male) to Thomas Moschos in
Greece. Together with his brother, Mr Moschos runs the Moschos family
farm in Kastoria, an organic livestock farm specialised in raising
sheep and producing dairy products. He uses new farming methods,
improving soil and circularity, reusing and recycling resources. This
has led to higher yields and soil organic matter.
Best organic food processing SME to the
in Ireland. The family-run organic farm produces gluten-free foods
in a closed-loop system, building Ireland’s first organic gluten-free
oat mill to manage the entire process.
Best organic retailer to
in Germany. The company operates a 600 m² farm shop selling
products from its own organic farm, a size 450 hectares of land
with over 50 varieties of vegetables. Besides selling more than
8,000 organic food products, the shop also features a bakery and a
green Michelin star awarded restaurant.
Best organic restaurant/food service to
in Austria. Luftburg – Kolarik im Prater is the largest fully
certified organic restaurant in the world, with ecological and
social sustainability at the heart of its philosophy. A winner of
several Austrian prizes, it uses renewable energy and aims to
minimise its environmental footprint in every way it can.
Tel. +32 471502795