A new business that provides a dedicated label of quality for farms in the process of becoming organic has won a prestigious competition for student entrepreneurs.

Constantin Huet, a third year real estate student from Switzerland, won the competition set up by the Royal Agricultural University (RAU).

The Grand Idea Competition asked students to pitch their plans to expert judges and win £2,500 of investment. Constantin found success with his company Pre-O, a new badge of quality for farms undergoing the lengthy transition to becoming fully organic. Under his plan, pre-organic foods will be able to charge a slightly higher price than non-organic, giving the consumer greater choice.

Constantin faced the impressive panel that included Levi Roots of Reggae Reggae Sauce; Christine Cross, former group business development director at Tesco; Dave Meneer, ex CEO of Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Cornwall restaurant, and the RAU’s vice-chancellor, Professor Joanna Price.

Constantin said: “Our revolutionary business model, unlike other agricultural certification schemes, does not charge farmers. Farmers subscribe free of any charge - no strings attached.

“Pre-O is beneficial to the consumer who perhaps can’t pay regularly for high-end organic produce, and beneficial to the farmer who is in the 'organic-transition' period yet suffering from non-organic prices.

“Until now, no outright 'pre-organic' offering has existed in the food market. We are making that change."

Levi Roots, a regular judge for the competition, said: “The RAU is not an old-school University, and it’s just great for the students that it’s one that looks forward.

"My connection with the RAU has been one of the best I‘ve had over the last ten years. I enjoy working with the students and I still try to get my message across that if Levi Roots can do it, anyone can.”

Last year’s Grand Idea winner Alex Dunn created a farm safety app which helped her to win the Farmers Weekly Agricultural Student of the Year title. She also scooped the Grow It award sponsored by Strutt and Parker at the RAU Enterprise Awards this year.

Find out more