2014 “Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award” - now open for applications



Posted on 20 January 2014  | 
Today, WWF opens the competition for the 2014 “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 Regional Winner – to be the 2014 Regional Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year. The Regional winner will receive a certificate and a monetary award of 10,000 Euros.

“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 to benefit the Baltic Sea,” says Pauli Merriman, director of the WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme.

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 2014.

Last year’s winner, Estonian Juhan Särgava, was awarded for his strong commitment to demonstrating how a large scale organic farm can use innovative, diverse and cost effective methods to reduce nutrient runoff while producing high quality organic dairy products. “Competitions like this, and the media’s attention, can inspire like-minded people and motivate those who have only been thinking about becoming an organic farmer,” says Juhan Särgava, Regional Winner of the 2013 Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award.

The Baltic Farmer of the Year Competition itself was the winner of an award last year, the EU-CAP Communication Award in 2013, which showcases the very best communication projects related to the Common Agricultural Policy. “The recognition by the EU of this project truly recognizes that farmers are at the forefront and play an important role in protecting the Baltic Sea.” continued Pauli Merriman.

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. 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 and the deadline for submitting applications is 30 April 2014.

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; Juhan Särgava (2013) from Estonia.

Meet the winners from the previous years and learn of their innovative agriculture practices – compiled in the booklet: Best Practices of Baltic Friendly Agriculture and WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award 2013.

For more information, contact:
Pauli Merriman, Manager, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme
Tel:+46 (0)8-546 57 519
email:pauli.merriman@wwf.se

Download the Award criteria and application form. Farmers are encouraged to self-nominate or be nominated by their country’s farmers’ organisations.
© WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme Enlarge
Celebrating the winning farmers of the WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award 2013.
© Pauliina Heinänen WWF Finland Enlarge

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