And the Winner is… Polish Food

This is our 24th Chair of the Year to date and the history of this award dates back to the beginnings of a democratic Poland. We launched the award as the country was throwing off the shackles of Soviet domination, which had lasted since the end of World War II. Democratic Poland is one of the most successful products of Polish society ever. Over the years, we have granted our award to individuals and institutions—as well as objects—that have had a significant impact on our life and have in a sense directed it. Which explains why the statuette is in the shape of a film director’s chair.

In 2012, we decided to grant the award to Polish food in appreciation of its exceptional taste and quality. While saying bon appétit to consumers, we want to highlight the fact that in 2012 Poland’s food exports exceeded 16 billion euros and were three times higher than in 2004 when Poland joined the European Union. Poland recorded a surplus of 3.3 billion euros in the trade of food in 2012—higher than in any other sector. This is undoubtedly a joint success for producers and exporters, and it is them that we want to congratulate above all. Top Polish food exports include meat, milk, cereals, vegetables, fruit, juices, candy, alcohol, and a long list of other items. Europeans—and not only those from EU countries—have come to appreciate Polish produce. But Polish food also reigns supreme on tables further afield.

I have to admit that I am particularly happy about this winner. The award for Polish food proves that the political and economic problems swirling around us cannot overshadow the very essence of our existence—being able to enjoy and taste life.

The Warsaw Voice’s  annual Chair of the Year award has previously gone to:
1989—Lech Wałęsa
1990—Leszek Balcerowicz
1991—Jan Krzysztof Bielecki
1992—Hanna Suchocka
1993—Warsaw Stock Exchange
1994—Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz
1995—The Supreme Court’s Chamber of Administration,
Labor and Social Security
1996—the passenger car
1997—Tadeusz Mazowiecki and Roman Kluska—the Chair of the Decade
1998—Jerzy Buzek
1999—Bronisław Geremek
2000—Aleksander Kwaśniewski
2001—Adam Małysz
2002—Danuta Hübner
2003—Jerzy Hausner
2004—Marek Belka
2005—Rafał Blechacz
2006—the economy
2007—Donald Tusk
2008—Leszek Balcerowicz and Lech Wałęsa—the Chair
of the Two Decades
2009—Jacek Rostowski
2010—Aleksander Grad
2011—Donald Tusk