About the Award
The European Young Farmers Prize is an essential part of the Congress. It highlights and rewards young farmers for sustainable and innovative ideas and practices that address the challenges facing the agricultural sector, such as generational renewal, climate change mitigation and adaptation, food security and technological advances. The Prize was introduced in 2012 to better recognise the central role, played by young farmers in rural areas and acknowledge the innovative approaches they apply in their farming activity.
Generational renewal and the entry of young people into farming is a key priority of the new CAP. A large proportion of European farmers are aged 55+ and only 6% are under 35, with women representing only 4,9% of farmers under the age of 35. The number of young farmers has significantly decreased from 3,3 million in 2005 to 2,3 million at present. The outflow of young people from rural areas and the aging population in agriculture are serious challenges for the development of the sector, along with access to arable land and credit, digital connectivity, uptake of new technologies, shortage of cooperation incentives and the provision of tailor-made advisory services.
The future of food and farming is in the hands of EU young farmers, who play a crucial role in developing a fully sustainable agricultural sector – one that supports environmental care, climate change action and smart solutions for providing safe and high quality food for the European consumer. The “Farm to Fork” strategy for sustainable food as part of the new European Green Deal, suggests the way forward for a transformed food system from production to consumption. Young farmers’ innate capacity to innovate, places them as the natural front-runners of the agri-food system transformation.
In view of the above-mentioned trends and challenges facing young farmers across Europe, the Prize will be awarded to the best young farmers’ projects in one or more of the following categories: