Meet The Foodies jury

Our thanks to members of our jury judging applications in rounds one and two of the Foodies selection process.

Dirk Jacobs

Director General FoodDrinkEurope

Kristin Schreiber

Director for Chemicals, Health, Retail and Agrifood, DG GROW,
European Commission

When it comes to eating and drinking, European citizens want sustainable, high-quality produce for a good price. 99% of operators in this ecosystem are SME’s which are therefore the backbone of this ecosystem and hold the key to ensure the competitiveness of the industry. New and innovative solutions by European entrepreneurs are critical for the transition to more sustainability.

Ivan Štefanec

MEP, Slovakia (EPP)

Reflecting current economic and environmental challenges, European food and drink SMEs are transforming to a resilient industry delivering more sustainable products to customers, while maintaining the taste and tradition that we all enjoy. We want to celebrate the innovative SMEs and start-ups working to make our food more sustainable and fit for healthier lifestyles.

Irène Tolleret


Christine Schneider


Christine Gould

CEO, Thought for Food

The role of start-ups and next-generation innovators in food systems transformation is essential. Why? Because today's purpose-driven and impact-focused entrepreneurs apply attitudes like openness and collaboration to create innovations underpinned by open & circular business models that enable true sustainability. They are the green shoots that push things forward.


Who can enter?

In the hat to win are the 290,000 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that make up 99% of the food and drink manufacturing industry in Europe. Entrants must represent an SME based in a member state of the European Union. An SME is defined as follows:

– Employing no more than 250 people
– Generating a turnover of no more than €50m or a balance sheet total of €43m

For the Next-Gen Innovator award, entrants must be 40 or under with a start-up based in the European Union.

Why should your organisation enter to win?

We want you to look at The Foodies as an opportunity to showcase the amazing work you and your team are doing to build a more sustainable food future. If you make it as a finalist, your story will be showcased to the people shaping our food future here in Brussels, including policymakers, global and European food and beverage manufacturers, retailers, and more. Not to mention, you can count on plenty of exposure across FoodDrinkEurope’s online channels, an easy entry process AND every entry will automatically generate a donation from FoodDrinkEurope to local food banks.

What does the judging process look like and who is on the jury?

Stage 1

A FoodDrinkEurope staff panel will select a long list of up to 5 finalists in each award category from the initial submissions. These stage 1 winners will be asked to send a detailed submission as outlined below.

Stage 2

A ‘final’ independent judging panel will select the winners in each category, based on the selection criteria below.


What are the judging criteria?

The stage 2 judging panel will judge the detailed submissions based on 6 criteria. Each will be scored 1-3, with a final mark out of a maximum of 18.

How do we define an SME and impact start-up?

An SME is a micro, small, or medium-sized enterprise (SME) which employs no more than 250 people and which has an annual turnover not exceeding €50m or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43m.

An start-up is an innovative new business, in the early stages of growth. You fall into this category if you are a small nimble team that kickstarts change through innovative approaches and by disrupting the status quo. A start-up usually starts with an idea – big or small – and with the help of self or external funding you turn this idea into a small business ready to tackle big problems.

When will the finalists and winners be announced?

The competition launched in February 2024. Entries are collected from February until 31 May 2024. The awards ceremony will take place in September 2024.

I have another question, where can I find an answer?

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