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FAO/Government of Switzerland 2021 International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

During the 26th Session of the Committee on Agriculture (COAG), the Federal Government of Switzerland announced an International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.

The Federal Government of Switzerland, with the technical support of FAO, established the International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture in 2019 and is pleased to announce the second edition.

The award is open to individuals, private companies or institutions and comprises two categories:

  1. Category A awards excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems (USD 30 000)
  2. Category B recognises an innovation that empowers youth in sustainable food systems (USD 30 000).

Agricultural innovation is the process whereby individuals or organizations bring new or existing products, processes or ways of organization into use for the first time in a specific context in order to increase effectiveness, competitiveness, resilience to shocks or environmental sustainability and thereby contribute to food security and nutrition, economic development or sustainable natural resource management.

In the spirit of the forthcoming Food Systems’ Summit in 2021 and aligned to the aspirations and goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the candidates should demonstrate the important role of their innovation in transforming food systems through sustainable food and agriculture and the improvement of food security and nutrition for all, particularly in the face of increased environmental challenges. In line with the requirements and technical competencies of the Federal Office of Agriculture of Switzerland, all innovations must apply to agriculture and pastoral systems only.

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About Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger. Their goal is to achieve food security for all and make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. With over 194 member states, FAO works in over 130 countries worldwide. They believe that everyone can play a part in ending hunger. FAO’s mandate is to raise levels of nutrition, improve agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of the world econ... read more


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FAO/Government of Switzerland International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture


Aim and Benefits of FAO/Government of Switzerland International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

  1. scroll describing the achievements of the recipient and/or an award;
  2. a cash prize of USD 30 000 for excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems
  3. a cash prize of USD 30 000 for an innovation that empowers youth in agriculture and food systems

Requirements for FAO/Government of Switzerland International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture Qualification

  1. Individuals, private companies and institutions responsible for an innovation that has demonstrated particular efficiency and used novel tools, products or services to enhance and promote sustainable food and agriculture. Both categories of the award consider innovations that have been successfully implemented and validated.
  2. The Award is conferred for innovations implemented during the biennium preceding the current one. In line with the requirements and technical competencies of the Federal Office of Agriculture of Switzerland, all innovations must apply to agriculture and pastoral systems only.
  3. Application forms that are incomplete, do not comply with the terms and conditions specified, or are submitted beyond the deadline, according to the instructions provided, will not be considered.
  4. No applicants under the age of 18 will be considered for the Award.

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Interview date, Process and Venue for FAO/Government of Switzerland International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture

Selection Criteria:

Award specific criteria:

  1. Award for digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems (USD 30 000):
    1. The innovation must impact more than one level of the supply chain from farmers to consumers.
    2. The innovation must strengthen the link between farmers and consumers, e.g. through tracking sustainability features of traded food and agriculture products on labels.
  2. Award for innovations that empower youth in sustainable food systems (USD 30 000):
    1. − The innovation must strengthen the role of youth (under 35) in sustainable food systems.

General criteria:

  1. Quality and merit of the innovation
  2. Potential benefit, impact and sustainability
  3. Scalability
  4. Value for money

Application Deadline

March 19, 2021


How to Apply

Applications should be submitted using the attached application form by 19 March 2021 to the Secretariat of the Award at the following email address: [email protected] for endorsement and submission to the screening committee

For more details, visit FAO website (pdf)



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