Entries open for two Copa-Cogeca innovation awards

The awards aim to showcase innovation in the agricultural sector and the key role of women in rural development

Copa and Cogeca, the united voice of European farmers and their co-ops, have launched two calls for their upcoming awards: the Innovation Award for Women Farmers and the European Award for Co-operative Innovation.

In its sixth edition, the Innovation Award for Women Farmers highlights the key role of women in the future of agriculture and rural areas. Around 19% of Europeans live in rural areas. While 50% of the rural population is female, only 30% of the farm managers across the EU are women.

Applicants for the award must be active women farmers who are part of a farm or co-operative represented by Copa and Cogeca.

In light of the recently adopted European Green Deal, this year’s theme looks at how women farmers can be the drivers in climate innovation. Projects will be assessed on a set of non-cumulative criteria – innovative solutions, innovation transfer, sustainability of innovation and communication methods. The winner gets a cash prize of €10,000, and there is also a €5,000 prize and special mention for a project.

The closing date for applications is 24 April 2020. The winner will be revealed in the European Parliament in October 2020.

The European Award for Cooperative Innovation was launched in 2015 to celebrate outstanding innovations and excellence in agri-food, fishery and forestry. This year’s edition is themed around sustainability-driven innovation, and is looking for applications from agri co-ops whose innovation projects make significant contributions to economic, social and environmental value creation.

Applications, which open to any co-operatives that are full or affiliated members of Cogeca, must be submitted by12 June 2020. They can be submitted in any of the six official languages of Copa and Cogeca: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Polish.

Copa and Cogeca secretary general Pekka Pesonen said: “Innovation in the agriculture and forestry sectors is key for allowing them to make a bigger and better contribution to our society and help us achieve the ambitions set out by the European Green Deal. We look forward to receiving and promoting some of the most innovative and sustainable practices of European women farmers and agri co-operatives later this year.”