July 18, 2008
Looking for Leaders in the Agriculture and Food Sector
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is seeking nominations for the 2008 Canadian Agri-Food Awards of Excellence. These awards honour the best in the Canadian agriculture and agri-food sector.
"We are looking for innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs that are moving Canadian agriculture forward everyday," said Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Canadian producers are world renowned and we want to make sure they get the recognition they deserve.""These awards give well-deserved recognition to those individuals," said Rob McLaughlin, President of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. "The Royal is proud to be a partner in these national awards that recognize Canadian individuals, organizations and companies for their outstanding contributions to the agricultural industry."
Held in partnership with the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, these national awards celebrate outstanding achievement in youth leadership, innovation, awareness and education, environmental stewardship, export performance and voluntarism.
Nominations for the Canadian Agri-Food Awards of Excellence will be accepted until Monday, September 15, 2008. The awards will be presented on Monday, November 10 at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in Toronto. Winners will be notified in advance.
Selection criteria (see attached backgrounder) and nomination forms are available at www.agr.gc.ca/awards or by contacting Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada by phone at 1-800-410-7104 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair can be reached at 416-263-3411.
The Award of Excellence for Youth Leadership recognizes a young individual or youth organization who has made an outstanding contribution through agricultural leadership. The award is open to any individual 25 years or younger, or any youth organization in Canada.
Criteria: The nominee illustrated leadership and his or her activities inspired development, initiative and potential. Specific goals were met with positive results at the regional or national level. Non-traditional leadership methods were used and concrete outcomes were achieved. The activities were unique or original. There was an offering of a service to the community that no one had thought of before. There were opportunities to create partnerships or novel ways to leverage resources.
The Award of Excellence for Environmental Stewardship recognizes an exemplary individual, group, organization or corporation that has demonstrated consistently responsible environmental practices and/or undertaken specific projects, activities or research that enhances or preserves the natural environment of rural Canada.
Criteria: The nominee was instrumental in identifying, reducing, solving or avoiding an environmental problem and has demonstrated consistently responsible environmental management practices. The nominee's activities were unique or original. The project met specific environmental objectives/goals that resulted in net benefit to the environment. The nominee's activities were voluntary and did not contravene any municipal, provincial or federal environmental laws or statutes. The nominee's activities were a proactive approach to a particular environmental problem or challenge facing farming, rural communities or the agri-food industry. Through these activities, the nominee promoted public awareness and understanding and showed active concern for the enhancement and protection of the environment.
The Award of Excellence for Innovation recognizes an individual, organization or business that made an innovative contribution to the agri-food sector, resulting in a new technology, product or service, a new use for an existing product and/or increased productivity, profitability or client-service.
Criteria: The nominee's innovative technology, end product, or service must be original and contain a majority of Canadian content and have resulted in specific commercial and/or social benefits within the last three years. The benefits of the innovation must go beyond the nominee and contribute to the industry, sector or society at large. The research, innovation or technology has advanced the capabilities of the sector, created or enhanced existing partnerships and resulted in a new product and/or service. The innovation is already, or has the potential to be, commercially successful.
The Award of Excellence for Agri-Food Export recognizes outstanding achievements by a small- or medium-sized Canadian enterprise, alliance or organization in securing new export markets.
Criteria: The nominee made an important contribution to the agri-food industry or the rural community, thereby improving the quality of life for Canadians. A small- or medium-sized Canadian enterprise, alliance or organization with sales of no more than $50 million, the nominee is based in Canada and exports Canadian grown, produced or processed products and has been in business at least two fiscal years. The nominee is currently exporting to one or more countries, with export sales that are at least 15 per cent of total sales. The nominee has demonstrated success in the following areas: introducing new products or services in the international market; maintaining or increasing export market share over a two-year period; developing unique export alliances with domestic or international partners to secure new international markets for products or services.
The Award of Excellence for Agricultural Awareness and Education recognizes an individual, group or organization that has made significant contributions in promoting public awareness and understanding of the agriculture and agri-food sector through agricultural awareness/education events, activities or projects.
Criteria: The nominee's concept, project, event or activity was unique or original and met specific outreach objectives/goals. The activity created awareness in a new or undeveloped audience. The nominee projected a confident and positive image for the sector and demonstrated thorough knowledge of the sector. The core message of the project was positive and was appropriate for the intended audience. The nominee's efforts resulted in improved image, increased understanding or more extensive or in-depth knowledge of the sector.
The Award of Excellence for Voluntarism recognizes an individual or organization whose actions, commitment, dedication, enthusiasm and generosity of spirit make a valuable ongoing contribution to the agri-food industry and/or the rural community, improving the quality of life for rural Canadians.
Criteria: The nominee demonstrated a high degree of commitment, beyond personal gain, to the agri-food sector and the rural community. Initiatives undertaken by the nominee have generated tangible and measurable benefits to the agri-food industry and/or the rural community. The nominee is a role model for others, attracting others to volunteer their time. The nominee is engaged in volunteer activities that address community concerns and/or challenges for the agriculture and agri-food industry.
All nominees must be Canadian residents or Canadian-based organizations and meet eligibility requirements, which are specific to each award.
Complete eligibility and criteria requirement can be found on the website at www.agr.gc.ca/awards or by calling 1-800-410-7104.
Contacts: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ottawa, Ontario Media Relations 613-759-7972 1-866-345-7972 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Emily Miller 416-263-3411 The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz Margaux Stastny Press Secretary 613-759-1059
SOURCE: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada