Today, farmers from across the Baltic region will be presented with the WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award. The award recognizes the exemplary use of sustainable farming practices to reduce nutrient runoff to the Baltic Sea catchment.
“Sustainable agriculture has a critical role to play in combating the problem of eutrophication,” says Anu Suono, Manager of the Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award. “We need to keep working together as a region to reduce emissions so that the Baltic marine ecosystem can recover and stand a chance against other stressors like climate change.”
This year, farmers from 11 countries within the Baltic catchment area are being awarded for their exceptional efforts. Sauli Brander, a Finnish organic crop farmer, will receive the grand prize of 10,000 Euros for measures that range from maintaining built wetlands and planting intercrops to practicing nutrient recycling with chicken manure.
Winning practices that prevent nutrient runoff
The competition criteria for the Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award are centered around sustainable farming practices that have been identified by WWF together with farmers and other experts from across the region. These measures include the efficient use of fertilizers, as well as the promotion of healthier soils, and the control of water movement on land.
“This year’s dedicated farmers demonstrate that sustainable practices go beyond keeping nutrients in place,” says Markus Eerola from the international jury. “These practices also contribute to greater biodiversity, enhanced climate adaptability, and better land productivity.”
Due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, this year’s award ceremony will be limited to a small number of participants and take place at the regional winner’s farm. However, a small gathering is planned in the early summer of next year to bring together all of the winning farmers and create an opportunity to exchange ideas, concrete solutions, and collaborative approaches for putting the winning practices to work.
About the Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award
The WWF Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award was launched in 2009 to highlight best practices and recognize farmers who are leading the way to reduce nutrient runoff across the region. Applications are received from farmers residing in countries within the Baltic Sea catchment who are practicing both organic and conventional farming, as well as many different types of agriculture. Participating countries include Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Belarus, and Ukraine.
The national winners are chosen by juries in each country and receive a prize of 1,000 Euros. From the pool of national winners, an international jury selects a regional winner who receives a grand prize of 10,000 Euros. So far, about 80 farmers from around the Baltic Sea have been awarded for their efforts and use of innovative measures.
To learn more about this year’s winning farmers and the farming practices that make a difference for the Baltic Sea, visit https://www.wwfbalticfarmer.org/winners-2021/
For more information please contact:
Valerie de Liderkerke, Interim Director, WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme, email@example.com +46735794081
Hannah Griffiths Berggren, Communications Manager, WWF Baltic Programme
+46 8 515 114 83