RULES FOR PARTICIPATION
Article 1 – General terms
The aim of the Award is to promote the positive image of young farmers and to identify farming activities, characterised by innovation, sustainability and market orientation.
Article 2 – The Award
Prizes will be awarded in the following categories:
- “Best Digital Project”: for contributing to the economic, environmental and social development of rural areas;
- “Most Resilient Project”: for the ability to withstand and recover from shocks and stresses resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and/or the ability to mitigate/adapt to the many challenges posed by climate change;
- “Best Project on Improving Rural Areas”: for contributing to the economic, environmental and social development of rural areas.
The Award-winners will benefit from the communication and publicity covering the Award at EU level, giving visibility to examples of best practice and ‘know-how’ in young famers innovation.
Article 3 – Eligibility and evaluation criteria
3.1. Eligibility of candidates
The Award, organized by the EPP Group of the European Parliament, is open to all European young farmers and projects related to agriculture, developed by people under the age of 40.
3.2. Eligibility of projects
The projects will be assessed based on the following evaluation criteria:
Applicant projects should cover one or more of the following sub-criteria:
- use of know-how, new methods or new forms of technology in a particular sector or region;
- new digital or network solutions;
- use biotechnology, smart agriculture, machinery as a solution to adaptation to climate change;
- new forms of production, processing, packaging, labelling, distribution, consumption and/or disposing of food;
- start-ups and entrepreneurship in the food sector;
- social entrepreneurship;
- innovative approaches to engage different actors across the food value chain – citizens, consumers, NGOs, farmers, food companies, supermarkets, restaurants, public institutions, research centres, universities, etc.;
- improved ways for food product transparency and traceability;
- new ways of learning and sharing of knowledge and information.
Applicant projects should cover one or more of the following sub-criteria:
- contribution to building vibrant rural areas and sustainable rural employment (e.g. agro, eco- tourism, etc.);
- generational renewal on the farm;
- involvement of vulnerable and marginalized groups in the local community;
- building partnerships through cooperation to improve farmers’ capacities, including their technical, managerial, organizational and marketing skills.
- agri-environmental practices in farming for eco-system preservation;
- responsible forestry management;
- improved plant health with responsible pest management;
- improved animal health and welfare, incl. responsible use of antibiotics to decrease the risk of AMR;
- tackling food loss and food waste through “circular economy”.
Article 4 – Application Form
4.1. Eligibility of applications
Only projects, using the valid application form and complying with the procedures laid down in this article shall be considered. All received applications that do not comply with the requirements of Article 3 will be considered not valid and will therefore be ineligible for the Award.
4.2. Structure of the application form
Interested candidates, at national level (Article 5.1) shall prepare an entry application form in English, which consists of the following information:
- Name and contact details of the young farmer, presenting the application;
- Name of the project;
- Name of the MEP Ambassador, supporting the project;
- Short description of the farm and motivation for farming;
- Presentation of the young farmer project, according to the different aspects, stated in the application form – innovative and sustainability features, environmental, economic and social impact, etc.;
- Summary of the project (2 pages);
Candidates are encouraged to provide additional material to support their project, such as photos, brochures, articles in newspapers, project website, app, etc.
4.3. Receipt of applications
All application dossiers must be submitted by e-mail, before midday, 29th of October 2021 to the Congress organizers.
No documents received after this deadline will be accepted.
Article 5 – Project selection
5.1. Phase 1 – National level
Project selection at national level is performed with the sole purpose of choosing the best young farmer’s project, which will represent the Member State at the Congress and compete for the Award in one of the categories, defined in Art. 2.
Members of the European Parliament from the EPP Group, who support the Congress and the Young Farmer’s Award, are invited by the Congress organizers to become “MEP Ambassadors” of the initiative for their respective countries.
MEP Ambassadors are responsible for the overall coordination of the national selection procedure of young farmers’ projects. The national procedure could take the form of a national young farmers’ competition or other type of selection, as long as it gives high level of assertion that the procedure is open, transparent and unbiased.
For the smooth implementation of the national selection process, MEP Ambassadors are encouraged to choose a partnering organization, herewith referred to as the “Partner”, which may be a national farmers’ association or a national young farmers’ organization.
The role of the Partner is to organize the national selection procedure and arrange the submitting of the application before the deadline and the current Rules for participation, duly translated in the native language of the country, where the selection procedure is launched.
The Partner shall carry on the evaluation of the received applications in compliance with the eligibility and evaluation criteria, as stated in Art. 3 of the current Rules for participation.
The MEP Ambassador and the Partner are responsible for selecting the best young farmer’s project, which will compete at European level.
5.2. Phase 2 – EU level
5.2.1. External Consultant
The Congress MEP Organizers will designate an external consultant to carry out the preliminary examination of all received project applications and to make a list of all eligible entries, based on the eligibility criteria defined in Art. 3 and Art. 4.
The external consultant has the following responsibilities:
- Guarantee that all dossiers, transmitted to the Jury fully comply with the eligibility criteria;
- Establish a short-list of selected projects to be presented to the Jury;
- Assists the Jury of the award in its deliberations during the selection process.
The external consultant reserves the right to verify, in situ, the achievements indicated by the candidates, and ask, if necessary for additional information.
In order to establish the candidate’s short-list, the external consultant, upon failure to take an unanimous decision, decides by a simple majority of votes.
5.2.2. The Jury
The Jury is entrusted to decide on the attribution of the Awards as indicated in Art. 2. It shall meet in accordance with the established calendar, in Brussels, to choose the Prize-winners from the shortlist, prepared by the external consultant.
Mr Norbert LINS, Chair of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) at the European Parliament
- one representative from DG AGRI, European Commission
- one representative from the EESC – European Economic and Social Committee
- one representative from CEJA – European Council of Young Farmers
- one representative from COPA-COGECA
- one representative from ELO – European Landowners Organization
126.96.36.199. Jury deliberations and designation of the winners
Based on a preliminary examination and selection, carried out by the external consultant, the Jury will analyse the short-listed candidates and decide on the winners in one or more of the categories, as presented in Art. 2. The Jury’s decisions shall not be subject to appeal, and shall be taken on the basis of a simple majority of votes. In the case of a draw, the Chair of the Jury will proceed with a qualified majority vote. The Jury will be assisted in its deliberations by the external consultant, acting as an observer without voting rights.
In preparation for the official award ceremony, the Chair of the Jury shall:
- transmit the information concerning the Award-winners to the external consultant and
- inform the Award-winners.
The Prize-winners are expected to refrain from communicating on or making any public reference to the Award before the official ceremony.
Article 6 – Award Ceremony
The award ceremony will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 9 December 2021, as part of the Congress.
Article 7 – Communication and media coverage of the Award-winner(s)
The results of the Award will be widely publicised. Information will be communicated at EU level by the European Parliament and at Member State level by the MEP Ambassador and the partnering organization, using all available media and public relations channels.
Article 8 – Concluding remarks
Participation in the Award entails compliance with and acceptance by the candidates of the current rules for participation, in the various phases and during the official award ceremony.