The award ceremony of the “FERRERO HAZELNUT AWARD CONTEST” took place at EXPO Milan 2015: an award that is focused on financing and improving research and innovation in the hazelnut sector. The award was launched by the Ferrero Hazelnut Company, which – as explained by Managing Director Lucio Gomiero – “aims at developing the hazelnut industry on a worldwide scale, presenting itself as a benchmark for innovation, best farming practices and environmental sustainability.”
“We are very satisfied with this initiative – commented Mauro Fontana, Technical Scientific Director of Soremartec – as it has led to the global participation of many university graduates and researchers, non-profit research and training institutes, who submitted their projects on improvement, innovation, sustainability and new strategies relative to hazelnut cultivation.”
The first prize of 150,000 euros was awarded to the Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias, INIA Carillanca (Chile), for its project “Improvement hazelnut production incorporating novel technologies for the most important world production areas”. The second prize was awarded to the Perugia University (Italy), for its project “New cultivation system for more profitable and sustainable hazelnut growing”. In third place was the Institut de Recerca i Tecnologias Agroalimentàries, Torre Marimon, Caldes de Montbui (Spain), in collaboration with the Department of Agricultural Sciences, Forestry and Food (DISAFA) at the Torino University (Italy), and the Dipartimento SAF at Palermo University (Italy), for the project “Developing a modern hazelnut industry by innovative crop technology and plant material”.
The second and third positions each received an award of 5,000 euros.
Two special mentions were dedicated to the ENEA Cassacia for its project “Morenut: merging innovation and traditions to boost hazelnut sustainable economic development”, and to the Università della Tuscia for its project “Metagenomic and non destructive sensor for microbiome mapping and nut quality in hazelnut chain: metasensnut”.
The project submissions were received, evaluated and adjudicated by an external, independent scientific committee, established at the l’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Piacenza and coordinated by Professor Lorenzo Morelli, Dean Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Science, according to a series of criteria rewarding innovation, sustainability, transferability, and timeframe applicability.
The event saw the participation of international sector experts such as Thomas Molnar, Jean-Luc Reigne, Marion Devaux, Marco Scortichini and Ximena Rueda.
This award further confirms the Ferrero Group’s ongoing commitment to excellence in quality and innovation, to its constant research in sustainable agricultural practices and its respect for the environment.