A Greek farmer from Mavrochori Kastoria managed to appear in the list of the three finalists “EU Organic Awards for 2023”, in the category of the best “producer of organic products”. The finalists were selected from among one hundred entries from all over Europe, with a greater presence of candidates from Central Europe and the Baltic countries.

THE Thomas Moschos in the race for the final ranking for first place, the results of which will be announced at a special event on September 25 in Brussels, it has to compete with two entries from countries with an organized tradition in the organic agri-food sector such as Italy and Spain.

The EU Organic Awards were organized for the first time in 2022 as part of the EU’s effort to recognize the value of organic farming and production.

The EU organic prize scheme includes 7 categories and 8 individual awards such as ‘best organic producer (female), best organic producer (male), best organic region, best organic city, best organic ‘bio-region’, best organic food processing SME, best organic retailer food, the best organic restaurant and the best food service.

Participants should produce excellent, innovative, sustainable and inspiring products with a low carbon footprint, with real added value for organic production and consumption.

Thomas Moschos, who owns a family farming business (Moschou Farm) in Mavrochori, Kastoria, speaking to APE BEE, said he was “overjoyed for the development as a first stage of an effort that lasted at least five years” and concerns the entire production line of the farm, from the cultivation of the fields made with precision farming methods, up to the application of technologies for the minimum consumption of water in the irrigation of agricultural production, the organic production of cheeses (caseri and feta) as well as the recognition of the organic identity of the farm’s cheese factory.

As it states, the Commission recognized that “our products, from production to consumption, have a low carbon footprint, since 80% of our production travels minimal distances to reach the farm where it is processed and then consumed”.

Thomas Moschos shows restrained optimism about the outcome of the final competition, he says that “we still have a way to go” while he does not fail to mention that “the result belongs to the 12 farm workers on each production line”, from the sowing of the fields that is done no-till, the production of milk and meat from the cattle and sheep unit to the production of various varieties of cheese in the state-of-the-art cheese factory, which consistently followed the organic chain program throughout the farm’s production line.

The awards are jointly organized by the European Commission, the European Economic and Social Committee, the European Committee of the Regions, COPA-COGECA and IFOAM Organics Europe. The jury for the awards consists of representatives of these organizations as well as the European Parliament and the Council of the EU.

In the seven categories with the finalists of the EU organic awards, Greece’s only participation is that of Thomas Moschos from Kastoria. Any actor or institution in the organic value chain can participate in the award competition as long as it has an innovative, sustainable product that contributes to greater accessibility and affordability of organic products in the EU.