The Jury

All nominations that comply with the application requirements are being reviewed by a committee consisting of the jury chairman Bernward Geier, jury member Joseph Wilhelm and an organisation team. Out of the applications five finalists will be selected, that are automatically prizewinners. Each of the five selected persons will receive a certificate as well as 2.000 Euro price money.

The jury chairman visits the five finalists and their projects and writes a report about every finalist with very detailed information for the jury. The report serves as a basis for the final decision. The five finalists are selected at the end of February. The on - site visits to the finalists will be scheduled in April/May.

The OWA jury has to make a decision on the OWA winner. The jury makes this decision based on the available documentation and the report about the visit. This ensures that a wise and sound decision can be made. The jury chairman is not part of the decision making team to avoid possible conflicts of interest.

Julia Lernoud,

At the Reasearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), this new jury member used to compile the annual reports "The World of Organic Agriculture". Since 2017, she is member of the IFOAM - Organics International World Board. IFOAM (International Federation of Organic Agriulture Movements) has been partner of the OWA since its start.

Dr. Hans Herren,

The internationally-renowned scientist, farmer and Right Livelihood Award laureate is one of the new jury members. He founded the Biovision Foundation that focuses on developing successful organic strategies. In 2010, Hans Herren and Biovision were awarded with the OWA.

Vandana Shiva,

Vandana Shiva was born in 1952. She studied in Canada and holds a doctorate in physics. After returning to India, she set up her own research lab in her mother’s cowshed. Since the 1970s Vandana Shiva has worked as an environmental activist and eco-feminist. She sees her work and struggle for the poor in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi. In an interview on the consequences of globalization, the German news magazine Stern called her the “Voice of the Poor”. She is a globally accepted authority on issues like biodiversity, seed saving, genetic engineering, globalization and climate change. Vandana Shiva has received numerous international awards and recognitions among others also the Right Livelihood Award.

Joseph Wilhelm,

The organic pioneer and activist is founder and Managing Director of Rapunzel Naturkost. Joseph Wilhelm started his agricultural career on his parents’ farm in the Swabian village of Großaitingen. Already as a teen he traveled extensively. In 1974, after completing a training in biodynamic agriculture, he and Jennifer Vermeulen opened one of Germany’s first organic food stores with an organic market garden and a wood stove bakery. Soon after, he founded the food processing and wholesale company Rapunzel. With the Rapunzel Turkey project, Joseph Wilhelm established one of the largest organic cultivation and food processing projects in Turkey. The combination of fair trade and organic cultivation is another major concern of his activities. Joseph Wilhelm commits himself to the struggle against genetic engineering with his campaign “Genfrei Gehen” – the march for a GMOfree world. In 2008, he initiated the OWA.

Santiago J. Sarandón,

The professor of Agricultural Ecology is also new in the OWA jury. His research focuses on sustainable agriculture and biodiversity and he is an internationally-renowned lecturer and author.

Shamiso Mungwashu,

The co-founder of the „Fair Trade Support Network Zimbabwe” (FSNZ) is committed to improving the living conditions in her homeland - with respect to fair trade, organic agriculture, sustainable development or children's rights. The 2017 OWA laureate now supports the jury for the first time. 

Bernward Geier,

Jury coordinator

Jury coordinator since 2008 when the OWA was first initiated. Bernward Geier has been active in more than 100 countries and for more than 40 years as networker, journalist, lecturer or moderator for agricultural issues and environmental politics.