Successful conclusion to IGW Digital

22 January 2021
For the first time in its ninety-five year history, the International Green Week took place as an entirely virtual event. In doing so the world’s leading trade fair for agriculture, the food industry and horticulture set new standards and took to the internet to discuss the latest industry topics. On 20 and 21 January, trade visitors and the general public were able to follow more than 100 contributions on four channels free of charge, whether the topic was animal welfare, climate change, local value chains (from farm to fork) or cooking with algae or insect flour. All they had to do was register at grünewoche.de.
The broadcasts took place from Messe Berlin’s new streaming studio. They included the IGW-Talk event presented by Judith Rakers, with Julia Klöckner as guest, as well as the IGW Startup-Days. The format was a virtual conference, in which startups from all over Germany took part and delivered pitches to a jury in Berlin. Over the two days of the event IGW Digital registered far in excess of 20,000 page hits. Starting today the entire programme of IGW Digital is available as videos on demand. Interested visitors can still register for IGW Digital and access content free of charge.Julia Klöckner, federal minister of food and agriculture: ”These last few days have proved that even as a virtual event the International Green Week is an important shop window for the food and farming industries. I am delighted that the virtual formats were so well received and that the industry and consumers held lively discussions again this year. We showed how modern agriculture works, that industrial performance and sustainability in the field and on the farm no longer contradict each other. What is most important is that farmers can make a living from their work. Local farming has to continue for there to be local products. That is what fills rural areas with life and makes them worth living in.”

Joachim Rukwied, president of the German Farmers’ Association DBV: ”Virtual conferences and talks definitely cannot replace face-to-face meetings. Nevertheless, it was the right decision to set this example and show that, despite the pandemic, food and farming topics play an important role in our society. As a result, IGW Digital was a success. Many visitors were impressed by the virtual meetings and fascinating discussions. I hope the Green Week 2022 can take place again in its customary form.”

Christoph Minhoff, chief executive of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE): ”As far as the BVE is concerned we can say the virtual experiment was a success. We are delighted with how well our ‘ZukunftSchmeckt’ tour was received, which we organised with a total of six different Cook&Talks events at IGW Digital, and which will continue to tour Germany until the autumn. The pandemic was unable to dampen interest in our industry’s forward-looking topics. Nevertheless, we are looking forward to Green Week 2022 – under normal circumstances again.”Martin Ecknig, chief executive officer of Messe Berlin: ”IGW Digital was a different start to the trade fair year than what we are used to. For that reason, I am delighted that the programme was so well received. Naturally, we very much hope that next year we will be able to meet again in person on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds at the International Green Week. However, what is also clear is that this is the new normal, and that the demands of our exhibitors, partners and visitors have changed. We need to take that into account. That is why we are already working on a concept for after the pandemic, which we are calling ’Messe plus’. That way we can also be certain to incorporate successful elements of IGW Digital in the International Green Week 2022.”

GFFA and the Future Forum for Rural Development
The International Green Week also features the 13th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. Its main event is the Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference, which takes place today. More than 80 agriculture ministers from around the world as well as numerous leading representatives of international organisations will be taking part in a virtual event and will conclude with a joint communiqué. Topics will include the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on food supply chains and climate resilience.Another event organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture was the Future Forum for Rural Development. The title of the virtual event was “Has everything gone virtual or are things 'normal' again? New forms of work and participation as an opportunity for rural areas.“ Policymakers, practicians, actors representing local government, institutions, associations, science and local regions took part in eight specialist forums, presented research findings, highlighted positive examples and discussed approaches to solving problems.

Awards: innovative startups at IGW Digital
At the IGW Startup-Days, six innovative food and agTech newcomers competed with each other by holding pitches. In the end MARKTKOST emerged as the winner. “Next level lunches” are what this new Brandenburg-based company is all about. Set up by Laura Maria Horn, the startup has shown that it is possible to offer balanced meals even to companies that do not have a canteen. MARKTKOST’s tech-based solution ensures workers receive freshly made and weekly varying lunches, all without packaging waste.

Next dates: 21 to 30 January 2022
IGW Digital 2021 was organised by Messe Berlin. The 87th International Green Week will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from 21 to 30 January 2022.

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