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New Geoffrey Roberts winners announced

Organisers of the 2008 Geoffrey Roberts Award have announced there will be two recipients of the annual international travel award this year.

Magdalena Eriksson and Nelle Gretzinger, both of New York City, win US$6000 (£3000) for projects that impressed the judges so much that they felt they should both win.

Eriksson, a Swedish biochemist and journalist now living in New York, will develop products based on a conical, white-fleshed pineapple grown in coastal Ghana in West Africa.

She is already well-known in the village of Ekumfi-Edumafa, having been made ‘queen mother’ of women and girls in the village on her first visit in 2006.

The pineapple at present is sold for juice for very little profit. Eriksson aims to ‘develop refined products of these delicious pineapples…I want the women in my village to the real winners of this award.’

Gretzinger will travel to southern Belize in Central America where she will work to establish the commercial cultivation of vanilla, which grows wild but is not exploited.

‘The fact that it’s never been done before is both exhilarating and terrifying: exhilarating because my actions could help to shape a different kind of future for Belizeans and terrifying for exactly the same reason,’ she said.

The Geoffrey Roberts Trust was established in 1996 to commemorate the life and work of the late Geoffrey Roberts, the UK’s pioneer importer of New World wine.

Judges including food writer Nicholas Lander and Jancis Robinson assess entries on their ability to ‘improve the worlds of food and/or drink’.


Written by decanter.com staff

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