It was a moving evening both for the laureates of the 4th One World award (OWA) and for the guests from around the world as the OWA Gold went for the first time to two projects: the Hansalim Federation from South Korea and the Timbaktu Collective from India. Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former German Environmental Minister and Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), received this year’s honorary OWA VIP Award for his decade-long commitment within the organic movement.
For his leading role in the organic agriculture movement the US organic pioneer Fred
Kirschenmann was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The 35,000 Euro award money was sponsored by Rapunzel Naturkost.
Words by Rapunzel Founder Joseph Wilhelm
Joseph Wilhelm, founder and liable shareholder of Rapunzel Naturkost GmbH and OWA initiator opened the evening with the words: “Globalization affects all of us. We can neither undo nor reverse the globalization process and we have to accept that globalization also brought many positive things. However, globalization that focuses exclusively on profit maximization is always hostile to life. Therefore we should try to give the globalization process a direction that benefits all people and all countries of the earth.” With this statement Joseph Wilhelm addressed the OWA finalists. At the same time, he thanked the OWA jury, the guests, all the Rapunzel partners from around the world and the Rapunzel staff for their commitment and support.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Töpfer
Subsequently, Joseph Wilhelm presented the OWA VIP Award (One World Award for
Very Impacting People) to Prof. Dr. Dr. Klaus Töpfer. „With Klaus Töpfer the global
organic movement honors a man who „showed his true colors“ at an early stage and whose support for the political and international recognition of the organic agricultural movement has been and continues to be very important” emphasized the OWA jury. His solidarity with the organic agriculture movement dates back to the 1980s to his time as Minister of the Environment when organic farmers were defamed by the Federal Minister of Agriculture and by the President of the German Farmers Association respectively as “dicky ideologists” and “green crackpots”. Already 22 years ago as Executive Director of the United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP), Klaus Töpfer emphasized: “The Earth Summit in Rio made clear that we have to use our resources in all areas very carefully and wisely. The global imitation of highly intensified agro-industrial methods will not result in an alleviation of hunger but in the waste of resources.” Unfortunately, today this assessment is more up-to-date than ever.
OWA Silver Awards
Visibly moved by the special mood of the award ceremony, celebrity chef Sarah Wiener
and OWA coordinator Bernward Geier presented the winners of the OWA Silver awards. Pioneer and environmental activist Ibrahima Seck from Senegal, Demeter winery family Frey from the USA, scientist and activist Prof. Rita Schwentesius from Germany/Mexico as well as Jadranka and Zlatko Pejic of Biovega from Croatia were pleased to each receive 2,500 Euro and an OWA medal.
OWA Gold Awards
The emotional highlight of the evening was reached when OWA jury member and Right
Livelihood Award Laureate Nnimmo Bassey and Renate Künast, Chairwoman of the
Bundestag Fraction of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen announced the laureates of the OWA Gold award. This year’s selection surprised the audience as the OWA jury had selected two winners: the Hansalim Federation from South Korea and the Timbaktu Collective from India. An unexpected but consequent decision of the jury that could not and did not want to select a single winner. Both winners are outstanding “flagship projects” and best practice examples for a new economic paradigm. With its decision to award a collective and a federation, the jury sent out a clear message that it is the “WE” that is the key to make the world a better place. “Our winners prove each in their own way how important it is to strive for the common good and not for individual profit in order to bring positive change to society” stressed jury member Nnimmo Bassey.
The Hansalim Federation is the largest CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) project. On 2,000 farms the association produces healthy food products for 1.6 million people. The product distribution is organized by 21 distributing coops, 180 health food stores and a sophisticated delivery system. At the same time, Hansalim fights for a world free of nuclear power and GMO. The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that Hansalim is not only cultivating – in the best sense of the word – its radical roots, but also manages to stay truly radical on its road to a huge federation. None of the federation’s profit is privatized showing that an economy for the common good is possible even within a capitalistic system.
The founding of the Timbaktu Collective goes back to the political commitment of Bablu
Ganguly and Mary Vattamattam and their vision to empower the rural population to a selfdetermined, sustainable life in harmony with equal rights for both genders. Today, 200,000 members are supporting this vision and engage in various areas such as the alleviation of poverty, women’s rights, environmental education or organic cultivation. Although the collective is very successful in all these areas the jury congratulated especially to the achievements in the areas of women’s liberation and emancipation. Mary Vattamattam and Bablu Ganguly succeed in an extraordinary way to implement their visions thus showing us how much can be achieved if people “walk their talks”.
The Lifetime Achievement Award
The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to organic pioneer Fred Kirschenmann
from the USA by IFOAM Executive Director Markus Arbenz and Percy and Louise
Schmeiser. They stressed Kirschenmann’s tireless effort for farmers’ interests and his
commitment for organic agriculture at the political and academic level. Being an
internationally recognized leader, he is an impressive example for the sustainable effects that lifelong commitment can achieve.
With this year’s OWA ceremony the „OWA Family“ grew significantly in numbers. In the
meantime there are 19 finalists and nine OWA laureates who will support each other and network for positive change spreading the message and goals of the One World Award and their own commitment.
For more information about the OWA: www.one-world-award.de
About the One World Award (OWA) In 2008 organic pioneer Joseph Wilhelm, founder and liable shareholder of Rapunzel Naturkost, initiated the international OWA award. The OWA honors individuals, projects and innovative ideas that make the world a better and more just place thanks to their positive ecological, economic and social impact. The winner of the OWA Gold receives a cash prized of 25,000 Euro and the winners of the OWA Silver award receive 2,500 Euro each. The prize money is donated by Rapunzel Naturkost. Partner and patron of the OWA is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movement (IFOAM). The OWA is presented every two years.