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Ackerdemia wins KfW award 2018

19/10/2018 - The project of the former scientist of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), Christoph Schmitz, has been honoured with the special prize for Social Entrepreneurship in the nationwide corporate competition "KfW Award Gründen 2018". Ackerdemia aims at introducing children to a healthy diet through direct experiences on the field.
Ackerdemia wins KfW award 2018

A child and her mentor harvest beans (Photo: Ackerdemia/Katharina Kühne)

The association wants to "promote knowledge on nature, the production of food and agriculture as well as healthy diets and sustainable cunsumption". To achieve that, there are gardening projects in schools and day-care facilities for children as well as for educators. Founder Christoph Schmitz said on the occasion of the award ceremony: "We take the well-proven concept of school gardening into the 21st century. We want children to develop a higher appreciation for sustainable, healthy diets by getting them into the whole subject of food with joy and enthusiasm."

Schmitz, originally trained to be a farmer, had the idea for the development of an education program already during his dissertation at PIK. After a pilot project with scientific support, he and fellow campaigners founded the Ackerdemia association and started the education program Gemüse-Ackerdemie ("Vegetable Academy"). In 2018 alone, the association has already reached more than 8500 children at more than 250 locations in 15 federal states of Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and has received numerous prizes and awards.

The KfW-Award is a quality award for young companies. With this award, KfW wants to honour successful founders and contribute to a wider public recognition for the move towards independence. The award winners have been picked by a jury of representatives of the KfW, development institutions, the economy, politics and the media. The business ideas have been assessed for their degree of innovation, their creativity and their assumption of social responsibility.

Press release by Investitionsbank des Landes Brandenburg (in German): https://www.ilb.de/de/presse/pressemitteilungen/archiv-2018/ackerdemia-ist-gewinner-des-sonderpreises-fuer-social-entrepreneurship-im-unternehmenswettbewerb-kfw-award-gruenden.html

More information on the Gemüse-Ackerdemie (in German): https://www.gemueseackerdemie.de/

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