Innovation is changing the way food is produced, processed, traded and consumed and building more resilient and robust food systems. Both digital technologies and innovative practices for growing food have the potential to transform food systems, providing smallholder farmers with a better future, making farming more sustainable and ultimately closing the digital gap between developed and developing countries.
Since 2018, FAO and the Federal Government of Switzerland encourage innovation by publically recognizing best practices through the International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture. The award does not only acknowledge digital innovation, but also new or existing products or practices that are used in a specific context, to increase effectiveness, competitiveness and resilience.
The innovation awards are divided into two categories:
- USD 30,000 is awarded for excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems.
- USD 30,000 recognizes an innovation that specifically empowers youth in sustainable food systems.
All applications will be judged according to:
- quality and merit of the innovation;
- potential benefit, impact and sustainability;
- value for money.
- Applicants need to clearly indicate how innovation impacts more than one level of the supply chain from farmers to consumers.
- Applicants should demonstrate how the innovation strengthens the link between farmers and consumers, e.g. through tracking sustainability features of traded food and agriculture products on labels.
- Applicants need to show how innovation strengthens the role of youth (under 35) in sustainable food systems.
Read more about the terms and conditions and the selection process here.