Gigi Frassanito made a decisive contribution to the launch of the Earth Markets project. He came to Slow Food in 2004 from the Master in Gastronomic Sciences in Colorno and took over the Earth Markets project, which at the time was just an idea.

It brought together experts from every sector, discussed every specification, visited Earth Market producers in Italy and around the world, from Lebanon (for the Beirut Earth Markets), to Israel (Tel Aviv), Austria (Parndorf), Bulgaria (Tcherny Vit), Puerto Rico (Aguadilla and San Juan).

From each trip he came back with new ideas, to improve the project a little bit, add a missing piece, modify a rule that was too rigid, simplify another one. Gigi also worked to make Slow Food grow in his homeland, Emilia-Romagna, and continued to work with optimism and curiosity, even when his illness began to take away all his strength. He passed away on March 20, 2013, he was 44 years old.

In 2014, the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity established a special prize in his memory.

The prize provides an economic contribution and is awarded every year to a worthy market from a social, cultural and environmental point of view.
In the first five editions it was conferred to: