Home 9 European news 9 Celebrating innovation and excellence: The Agricultural and Rural Inspiration Awards (ARIA) 2023

Celebrating innovation and excellence: The Agricultural and Rural Inspiration Awards (ARIA) 2023

Dec 12, 2023 | European news

Author: Miranda García (AEIDL)

The power of successful stories lies in their ability to inspire replication and innovation, especially when tackling the diverse economic, environmental, and social challenges of the 21st century. The key, however, is recognising this potential.

On 4 December 2023, the EU CAP Network commemorated the 5th edition of the Agricultural and Rural Inspiration Awards (ARIA). Since its inception in 2019, the event has been highlighting the most inspiring rural development projects co-funded by the EU, driving skills, innovation, and competitiveness in agriculture and rural areas.

This year’s edition received 92 entries from 20 Member States, competing under four thematic categories: Smart & Competitive Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Socio-economic Fabric of Rural Areas, and Rural Stakeholder Skills. Experts have selected 6 projects per thematic category, with over 13 000 people participating in a Popular Vote throughout November to select a winner from the shortlisted projects.

Let’s get to know the winners!
  • Smart & Competitive Agriculture: The winner, “KoroKausi” from Estonia, showcased resilience during the Covid-19 pandemic by helping agricultural enterprises recruit seasonal workers, thus preventing labour shortages and ensuring no farms faced bankruptcy.
  • Environmental Protection: The Portuguese “Landscape Farm” project stood out for its innovative approach, transforming farmers from mere food producers to landscape managers, signifying a paradigm shift in farming practices.
  • Socio-economic Fabric of Rural Areas: The award went to the #LeaderCLLD project “Regional Cooperation + Business + Employment”. This Spanish initiative, involving 11 LAGs, focuses on boosting employment in rural areas.
  • Rural Stakeholder Skills: In alignment with 2023 being the European Year of Skills, the “Local Energy for Farmers and Citizens” project won for its efforts in building a rural energy community and promoting renewable energy in Belgium.

Additionally, the “Urban Farm Doetinchem” project in the Netherlands received the Popular Award for its role in social inclusion, benefiting migrants, young people, and vulnerable groups.

Find out more information about the ARIA Awards here.