Deadline: March 19, 2021

Applications for the UN FAO International Innovation Award for Sustainable Food and Agriculture 2021 are now open. The award is open to individuals, private companies or institutions and comprises two categories: Category A awards excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems and Category B recognises an innovation that empowers youth in sustainable food systems.

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.


Winners will receive

  • A scroll describing the achievements of the recipient and/or an award;
  • A cash prize of USD $30,000 for excellence in digitization and innovation for sustainable food systems;
  • A cash prize of USD £30,000 for an innovation that empowers youth in agriculture and food systems.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No applicants under the age of 18 will be considered for the Award.


Award specific criteria

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

General criteria

  • Quality and merit of the innovation
  • Potential benefit, impact and sustainability
  • Scalability
  • Value for money


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

Download the application form

For more information, visit UN FAO.

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