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January 16, 2016

Green Week update: 15 January 2016

Schmidt: Green Week has no equals

The Green Week “has no equals as a focal point for information and taste”. The Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, expressed his admiration for the fair with these words during his tour at the opening of the event on Friday. It has become an indispensible forum for exhibitors and consumers, as well as for decision-makers from all over the world. For Schmidt, well as for Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, the main question this year is how to achieve a balance between urban growth and sustainable agriculture. Schmidt mentioned another problem: how to maintain a functioning agriculture in Germany despite low food prices. Müller paid tribute to the outstanding hospitality shown by Morocco, the first non-European partner country in the 90 year history of the Green Week.

An opening ceremony involving the partner country was also attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem and the Minister of Agriculture, Aziz Akhannouch. As the brand ambassador for Swiss cheese, Michelle Hunziker brought a touch of glamour to her country’s stand. The delegation taking part in the tour at the start of the fair included Germany’s Federal Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, Berlin’s Governing Mayor, Michael Müller, the President of the German Farmers’ Union, Joachim Rukwied, Jürgen Abraham, Honorary Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, and Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH, who were welcomed by 15 ministers of agriculture from around the world.

Partner country Morocco – Colourful opening ceremonies

“We consider it an honour as this year’s partner country at the Green Week, to discover and experience other cultures, and to see how Germany is assisting the development process.” With these words Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco welcomed the many guests at the opening ceremonies of the Green Week at the City Cube. The Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, extended a cordial welcome to the north African country: “We are just delighted to have you here.” Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers’ Union, used the colourful opening ceremonies as an opportunity to draw attention to the dramatic changes in the financial situation of many farming enterprises. “Over the past two years farmers’ incomes have declined by up to 50 per cent. We are no longer selling to the Russian market. We call on politicians to reconsider the embargo on Russia“, Rukwied urged.

The Federal Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, praised the Green Week as a forum where responsibility for livestock and plants is a reality: “Here in Berlin we are all aware of the soul of agriculture.” Wolfgang Ingold, Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, emphasised this organisation’s willingness to engage in a dialogue with consumers. “This is more important than ever, because many people do not know how healthy foodstuffs are produced”, he said. In his welcoming address Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin, pointed out that the Green Week, more than any other trade show, is closely linked with the history of Berlin: “It is 90 years since the Green Week first took place, but it has lost none of its attraction.” The opening ceremonies were accompanied by music and dance, as a sensory experience of the various regions that comprise the Kingdom of Morocco.

Norway presents exemplary livestock production

“Other countries can learn from Norway”, said the new Minister of Agriculture, Jon Georg Dale, on Friday, during his visit to the Green Week. The trade fair is an ideal platform for showing the world that Norway produces healthy animals and, in the case of fish farming, for example, does not make use of antibiotics. At the same time Berlin offers an opportunity to use some culinary highlights to promote this Nordic country as a travel destination. And equally importantly, the Green Week helps to encourage discussions between agricultural producers from the country’s various provinces. “The Green Week is of major importance for Norway in many respects.”

Hall 8.2, contact: Thomas Bjerkmann, T: +47 930 43561, M: thbje@innovationnorway.no

The Netherlands is developing new export markets

Last year agricultural exports by the Netherlands rose by 700 million euros to a total of 82.4 billion euros, and new markets were also opened up. With a volume of 20 million euros Germany remains the most important trading partner, according to Minister of Agriculture Van Dam, speaking at the Green Week. The Netherlands have been represented at the Green Week for 63 three years, more than any other country. In 2015 the Netherlands was the only member country of the EU granted approval to supply products made with eggs to the USA. Onions with a total value of some nine million euros were exported to Indonesia and Panama, and towards the end of the year the Vietnamese market was opened up for exports of Dutch apples and pears. In addition to such traditional products as tomatoes, cheese and matjes herrings, this year an astonishing diversity of Dutch wines was also featured in the display.

Hall 18, contact: Anna Meyer, T: +49 (0)175 7243856, M: anna.meyer@minbuza.nl

International success with “Best of Austria”

“From naturally produced, high value food products to the latest environmental technology, Austrian quality is internationally recognised. We must make ever better use of this potential”, the Austrian Federal Minister Andrä Rupprechter emphasised, at the start of the Green Week, speaking to the international press. Using the new “Best of Austria” initiative he intends to draw more attention, both domestically and abroad, to his country’s outstanding achievements. The aim of the long term campaign to enhance the country’s international profile is to develop an up to date mission statement for leading Austrian products, to boost exports and open up new markets. According to Rupprechter, “Stable sales markets are the best way of safeguarding the future in the interests of a strong, crisis-resistant economy. For this reason it is more important than ever to intensify efforts to develop export markets.”

Contact: Magdalena Rauscher-Weber, T: +43 (0)1/711006823, M: magdalena.rauscher@bmlfuw.gv.at

Côte d’Ivoire: Diegonefla coffee makes its debut

Coffee from Diegonefla (Côte d’Ivoire) is being presented jointly by Key Gate and the country’s embassy, and is making its debut at the Green Week. The beans are grown by a local cooperative, some 300 kilometres from the main city of Abidjan and, once a suitable plant has been constructed, they will also be roasted there. In the summer it is planned to open a small café there too, to attract tourists. Key Gate sees its role as that of a B2B market place for small and medium-sized family-run businesses in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. “Many new firms have been set up, especially in Africa, that are looking for new distribution channels”, according to the CEO Frank E. W. Fromme. The idea originated with the founder of Key Gate and its COO, Chafeai El Mellouki, who initially opened an argan oil cooperative for Berber women in order to develop new sales possibilities. The intention is that the added value and the profits remain with the producers.

Hall 7.2a, Stand 105, contact: Frank E. Fromme, T: +49 (0)151 21273148, M: few@Key-Gate.com

Morocco: Focus on cuisine

Following the opening tour of the fair the focus in the pavilion of the partner country, Morocco, is on the culinary arts. Aziz Akhannouch, Minister for Agriculture and Ocean Fisheries of the Kingdom of Morocco, is joined today in the kitchen by Germany’s Minister for Development, Dr. Gerd Müller, for a cooking show. Afterwards members of the public will be able to sample the specialities that have been prepared. The two ministers will then head for Hall 16 and the stand of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), where they will be welcomed with a traditional tea ceremony and Moroccan desserts. The meeting with the press will be used to provide details about quality products from Morocco, with background information about the agricultural reform programme "Plan Maroc Vert", and about the special show being staged by the BMZ entitled ”A world without hunger is possible”.

Hall 18, contact: Krizia Schroeder, T: +49 (0)6151 6272342, M: krizia.schroeder@genius.de