On the 16th of November the first Portuguese Journalism Awards ceremony took place in Quinta do Arneiro, one of the most well-known organic farms in the country, just 35 km north of Lisbon.
During the event the best kept secret was finally revealed, as EIT Food announced their first Portuguese Journalists to win the awards. This ceremony was hybrid, attendees had the opportunity to join both online and in person. This made the event even more extraordinary, since it gave everyone a glimpse of hope after the pandemic, being able to see each other face after so long.
Juan Ignacio Zaffora, EIT Food South Regional Startup Manager and moderator of the ceremony said: "We are very excited to have you here face to face, after a long period of restrictions due to the pandemic. We are now slowly but shortly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and going, somehow, back to normal, which is why celebrating this ceremony in person feels extra special, plus, it is the first edition in Portugal!"
The Journalism Awards arrived to Portugal in 2021 with the same mission as in the other two countries previously held, Spain and Italy: to encourage and reward the work of media professionals in their effort to disseminate the values associated with the agrifood field; increase consumer trust, create healthier food choices, improve food sustainability or educate to participate, innovate and move forward.
With this in mind, EIT Food wanted to reward with a first prize of 1500€ and 700€ for the runner up, the Portuguese journalists’ efforts to promote the transformation of the food ecosystem towards healthier and more sustainable habits and practices.
Being the first edition, the organisation did not know what impact the awards would have, so when the submittion deadline reached and the works were counted, everyone’s expectations were exceeded: A total of 49 works!
Following up, the process continued with the jury evaluation. In this first edition, the jury was composed of:
Cecília Delgado, Researcher in Public Policy of Urban Food Systems, António Granado, Journalism Proffesor at NOVA FCSH, Manuel Carvalho, Director of "Público", Lorenzo Pastrana, chair of the Research Office at INL - International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory, Juan I. Zaffora, Regional Startup Manager at EIT Food South and Mónica Truninger, Researcher and Sociologist
After an intense evaluation of the 49 works, the jury agreed on the two 2021 Portuguese Journalism Awards winners and they were finally revealed during the ceremony:
The first prize winner was Carlos Rico, with his work tittled “Alentejo, azeite e água” which translates to “Alentejo, olive oil and water”. Carlos Rico had this to say about his work and about receiving the award:
"Thanks a lot to EIT Food for this award. It is an honour to receive it, even more knowing that this is the first edition and being selected out of 49 works from many colleagues I know and greatly respect.
This report focused on questions related to intensive and superintensive agriculture, which for us is still a relatively recent reality. We are talking about very professional companies, with very aggressive communication strategies, that in fact work very well. I don't want to demonise the work they do, but rather show what is being done and try to see both sides of the same coin. I can even acknowledge some benefits of this modern agriculture for the local economy and local populations in Alentejo. However, we must all remain very aware of what is going on there in terms of sustainability.
It is imperative that public powers keep an eye on this and intervene, because it is necessary to do so. These things cannot simply be left in the hands of the market. And it is on us as consumers to make the right choices. Those right choices we make will translate into the sustainability of the region, the sustainability of the planet."
The runner up was Sílvia Camarinha, with her work titled: “Biosfera” meaning “Biosphere”. Sílvia Camarinha added this after receiving the award:
To know that our work was distinguished among 49 pieces is a fantastic feeling. I would like to say that our program Biosfera has been doing environmental journalism for 15 years, when nobody was talking a lot about this nor paying a lot of attention. It feels good to see that 15 years later there is a larger environmental and social awareness and that these values also permeate other areas in journalism."
The Journalism Awards Ceremony was followed up by the Portugal Awareness Day in which the EIT Community provided an introduction of its activities as well as more in detail information about potential areas for cooperation with interested national stakeholders.