0,000 SMEs

which represent


of food and drink companies in Europe

0.0 million

people employed

0 billion


representing nearly


of the industry


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?

After a hard 2020 we want you to look at The Foodies as an opportunity to bring some joy back to work, to provide a morale boost to your team and to tell your sustainability story to a wide audience. 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 the European FoodBanks Federation.

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 15 winners in each award category from the initial submissions. These stage 1 winners will be asked to send a detailed submission as outlined below.
  • *A Thought For Food member will be on the panel for the Next-Gen Innovator award.

Stage 2

  • Based on the detailed submission, a ‘stage 2’ judging panel made up of two FoodDrinkEurope Directors will select a short list of up to five stage 2 winners in each category.
  • *Two Thought For Food members will be on the panel for the Next-Gen Innovator award.

Stage 3

  • A ‘finals’ independent judging panel will select the winners in each category, based on the selection criteria below.
  • *Thought For Food CEO Christine Gould will be on the panel for the Next-Gen Innovator award.


What are the judging criteria?

The stage 2 and stage 3 judging panels will judge the detailed submissions based on 9 criteria. Each will be scored 0-5, with a final mark out of 45.

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

An SME is a micro, small and 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 impact 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 winners be announced?

The competition was launched in February 2021. Entries collected from February until 31 May 2021. The awards ceremony took place on 28 September 2021.

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

Please download the slide deck on this site for more details. If you still don’t find what you’re looking for reach out to awards@fooddrinkeurope.eu


Looking for a bit more info? No problem. E-mail us at awards@fooddrinkeurope.eu


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