At the Green Week today – in the shops tomorrow

28 January 2019

A leading meeting place for international agribusiness, the presence of numerous German politicians, and a unique experience for the public: in 2019 the International Green Week Berlin confirmed its standing as the world’s leading trade show for agriculture, food and horticulture. From 18 to 27 January, as at last year’s event, some 400,000 people attended the trade fair and conventions in the halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, including approximately 85,000 trade visitors from around 75 countries. Digitalisation in agriculture and rural areas, the impending Brexit and the common European agricultural policy, discussions about ‘Animal Welfare’ and ‘Food Labelling’, the quality and safety of the food we eat, and the conditions under which it is produced, and safeguarding world food supplies in the face of a constantly increasing population were among the widely discussed topics at the Green Week 2019. Producers and retailers discussed issues surrounding supply and value added chains, with the main focus being on regional foods and luxury items.

The presence of representatives of German politics was an outstanding feature this year, headed by Federal President Steinmeier at the Future Forum for Rural Development, and Federal Chancellor Merkel at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, together with 75 ministers of agriculture from every continent. The public were keen to buy and their expenditure exceeded 51 million euros. This year’s partner country, Finland, summed up the fair as a success, with keen interest being shown in the products of the country’s agricultural sector. The 84th Green Week was held from 18 to 27 January with a record number of exhibitors, 1,750 from 61 countries, who occupied a hall area of 125,000 square metres.

Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH: “In its 93-year history the Green Week has reached yet another milestone: never before has the presence of German politicians been so much in evidence, headed by Federal President Steinmeier, Federal Chancellor Merkel and Federal Minister Klöckner. Their attendance underlines the social relevance of the subject matter under discussion here. Start-ups are represented in ever-increasing numbers at the Green Week, ensuring that this trade fair remains a trendsetter in the food sector. More than ever before the Green Week 2019 acted as a test market, with hundreds of thousands of consumers, and its slogan could be described as ’at the Green Week today – in the shops tomorrow‘. The essence of the Green Week brand – pleasure and the enjoyment of life – was very evident and tangible throughout the ten days of this event.”

Representatives of German politics show strong commitment

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel and Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier both visited the Green Week for the first time. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Federal Ministry for the Environment were each represented with special displays. Federal Minister of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection Julia Klöckner, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety Svenja Schulze, and Federal Minister of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth Dr. Franziska Giffey participated in several events and tours. Numerous minister presidents from the federal states and senior members of the parties represented in the German Bundestag took part in separate tours. High-ranking guests included Director General of the FAO José Graziano da Silva and EU Commissioners Phil Hogan and Vytenis Andriukaitis.

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The Federal Ministry of Agriculture in particular was represented in numerous sections at the fair and took part in high-level conferences. Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner: “The International Green Week is the largest and most important shop window for our food and farming industries. The Green Week is where farmers, the food industry and associations explain how the industry works and conduct public relations. It is also where we hold a public debate on efficient economics, expectations, the viability of projects and the industry’s future. Consumers want information and are keen to find out more. This year, the staff on the stands in the hall representing our ministry spoke to more people than ever before. That is a good thing, and it is important. Food and farming issues need to be debated on a less emotional level and to focus more on the subject matter, scientific data and facts. We need to get away from binary concepts of ‘black and white’ – I would like to strike a conciliatory note here. Particularly because agriculture is not just any sector – on the contrary. At the Green Week, taking as its slogan ’What will tomorrow bring? Agriculture with hearts and drones’, our Ministry of Life demonstrated the shape that tomorrow’s industry can already take today. In that context, digitalisation will play a decisive role in achieving certain objectives. Digital solutions in agriculture mean that above all we can produce foodstuffs, the basis for life, more efficiently and can conserve resources, by using fewer pesticides, less fertiliser, in precise amounts and using sustainable methods. Only by accomplishing this will we be able to satisfy the increasing demand for quality food products around the world. And that is the only way we will succeed in fighting starvation around the world.”

Press releases and photos: Messe Berlin GmbH

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