In the framework of its working programme, the Copa Women’s Committee has launched a new initiative in the form of an “innovation prize for women farmers”. Women farmers have a fundamental role to play in the life of rural areas and on the farm. According to statistics, women farmers make up 43% of the agricultural workforce in the European Union and 20% of women manage the farm without accounting for spouses and the family workforce whose work is often overlooked and frequently goes unnoticed.

This prize aims to promote a positive image of women farmers and identify the work that they do; activities which have an innovative element and respect certain criteria.

Copa’s Women’s Committee is responding to this challenge by introducing the “innovation prize for women farmers”, aimed at further encouraging women farmers to pursue truly innovative activities. Aside from the direct interest of supporting innovation there are the “media and communication” aspects which go hand in hand with the winner’s presentation which must also be taken into consideration. The prize giving is expected to take place on 15 October 2009 on the occasion of World Rural Women’s Day. Commissioner F. Boel has expressed interest in attending the prize giving.

Furthermore, please also note that the European Parliament recently adopted a proposal from the European Commission and has made 2009 the “year of creativity and innovation”.