2013 “Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award” - now open for applications



Posted on 23 October 2012  | 
Today WWF in cooperation with Baltic Farmers Forum for the Environment (BFFE) and farmers’ organisations around the Baltic Sea, open the competition for 2013 “Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award.” The purpose of the award is to highlight best practices in “Baltic-friendly” farming and to recognize farmers who are advancing innovative measures to reduce runoff from their farms to the Baltic Sea.

WWF is inviting individual farmers, farmers’ organisations and other interested parties to apply to the competition. The competition will select a national winner of the Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award from each country around the Baltic Sea. The winners of each national competition will all receive a certificate and a nominal monetary award of 1000 Euros. The aim of the competition will be to produce 9 ‘winners’, or national nominees, who will demonstrate a range of best practices that will be showcased for the entire region.

The nine national winners will also serve as the nominees from which an international jury will select one main regional winner – to be the 2013 Regional Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year. The Regional winner will receive a certificate and a monetary award of 10,000 Euros.

“This competition aims to inspire farmers to choose farming methods that will reduce the nutrient pollution load in the Baltic Sea, says Ottilia Thoreson, manager of the WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme. With this award, we want to show that there are concrete examples of farmers who are taking the extra steps to go beyond the ordinary, and really contribute valuable solutions.”

Farmers are encouraged to self-nominate or be nominated by their country’s farmers’ organisations to enter the competition. Award criteria and application forms can be downloaded from www.panda.org/baltic_farmer, and the deadline for submitting applications is 30 April 2013.

Last year’s winner, Polish Marian Rak, was awarded “for his strong commitment to environmental protection and for demonstrating how a successful progressive conventional farm can simultaneously reduce nutrient losses while enhancing biological and landscape diversity." “I have always been interested in nature conservation. When I realized that my agricultural practices were harmful to the environment I decided to work for the benefit of nature, says Marian Rak. Regional Winner of the 2011 Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award. This award is very important to me as it allows me to convince local farmers that my actions are taken for a reason.”

WWF is committed to reducing the threat of eutrophication to the Baltic ecosystem and is therefore working to dramatically reduce the inputs of both phosphorus and nitrogen to the sea with a specific focus on promoting the application of environmentally friendly farming practices in the Baltic catchment area.

Facts on the WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award:

The award was founded in 2009 by WWF, together with Baltic Farmers Forum for the Environment (BFFE) and farmers’ organisations around the Baltic Sea and sponsored by Swedbank.

The award aims to raise awareness about all the good initiatives being practiced on farms around the Baltic region to achieve sustainable agriculture. It is also intended to promote cooperation around the region in order to further the application and promotion of good environmental practice in the agriculture sector.
Award criteria and application forms can be downloaded from www.panda.org/baltic_farmer or, and the deadline for submitting applications is 30 April 2013.

Previous recipients of the regional award: Katariina Vapola and Jyrki Ankelo, (2009) from Finland; Håkan and Teri Lee Eriksson (2010) from Sweden, Marian Rak (2011) from Poland.

Meet the winners of the 2009, 2010 and 2011 competition and learn of their innovative agriculture practices – compiled in the booklet: Best Practices of Baltic Friendly Agriculture.

For more information, contact:
Ottilia Thoreson, Manager, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme
Tel:+46 (0)8-624 74 15
email: ottilia.thoreson@wwf.se

The WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award competition is now open for applications
© WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme Enlarge
Meet the previous winners of the Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award
© WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme Enlarge

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