European Agri-Cooperative Confederation launches award for innovation

Applications are now open for the fourth edition of the European Award for Cooperative Innovation, which promote outstanding practices and innovative solutions implemented by co-ops. An initiative of the...

Applications are now open for the fourth edition of the European Award for Cooperative Innovation, which promote outstanding practices and innovative solutions implemented by co-ops.

An initiative of the European Agri-Cooperative Confederation (Cogeca), the award highlights the response of agri co-ops in Europe to global demographic, technological and ecological challenges.

It recognises innovations which align co-ops to consumer demands and ensure higher returns from the market.

Research by Cogeca in 2016 revealed that almost 70% of its member co-ops saw innovation as one of their top two priorities. In addition, co-operatives said that over the next three to five years they were looking to prioritise product and service diversification and development of new markets and adopting new technologies.

Speaking in Brussels, Copa & Cogeca secretary-general Pekka Pesonen said: “European farmers and their co-operatives are renowned for their high quality, nutritious food which respect some of the highest production and environmental standards in the world.

“But to remain at the top, agri-co-operatives have to produce more and better products in a sustainable way. They need to continuously innovate to meet market and consumer demands and ensure better returns from the market.”

Related: European Parliament recognises co-ops contribution to the economy

He added: “This award aims to promote practices and innovative solutions designed by European co-operatives and share their achievements. We urge our co-operative members to submit their projects swiftly.”

Cogeca president Thoman Magnusson added: “With this award, Cogeca fosters European agri-co-operatives’ innovation to empower farmer members and rural areas.”

EU commissioner for agriculture and rural development, Phil Hogan, welcomed the initiative.

He said: “Co-operatives are the glue that binds farmers together, helping to improve their production methods, their bargaining power, and their innovative potential. I commend Cogeca for this initiative and I encourage co-operative members across Europe to apply.”

Candidates can apply by 23 June and the winners will be announced on 29 November.

In this article


Join the Conversation