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German photographer Michael Schmidt wins Pictet prize for photo essay on food production

LONDON - German photographer Michael Schmidt has won a major photo prize that seeks to highlight social and environmental problems.

Schmidt was named winner of the Prix Pictet on Wednesday by its honorary president, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The theme of the contest was "consumption," and Schmidt won for "Lebensmittel" ("Foodstuff"), a series looking at food and its production.

Schmidt was chosen from 11 finalists including Ukraine's Boris Mikhailov, Nigeria's Abraham Oghobase and American photographer Laurie Simmons.

Annan said their work "ought to persuade governments, businesses — and each of us as individual consumers — of the need for a fundamental rethink of the principles on which present-day affluence is founded."

The award, sponsored by Swiss asset managers Pictet, comes with a purse of 100,000 Swiss francs ($112,500).

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