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Press Release

November 27, 2014

The future in the countryside

Vibrant and economically strong: Germany’s villages

Berlin, 27 November 2014 – The combined show ‘Dream of a lifetime - living in a village’ brings village life into the heart of the city. From 16 to 25 January the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture Berlin (BMEL), along with various associations and federations, is using the International Green Week Berlin to show how rural areas can be structured in order to meet future demands - in Hall 4.2.

Dialogue between devotees of city life and of the countryside

Civic involvement is one aspect that makes rural areas so attractive and vibrant. This is why the focus is on members of the public who seize the initiative to shape the future of their villages, using their imagination and commitment in their efforts to improve local shopping facilities, enhance the centres of their villages, and introduce a more varied range of cultural attractions. Employment can be created and safeguarded through the formation of new companies in rural areas and the application of new ideas for regional added value chains. The display by the BMEL at the Green Week features its activities aimed at preserving the quality of life in rural areas. Visitors to the fair and active participants in rural life are invited to participate in the dialogue, which will focus on mobility, regional supplies, expanding the broadband infrastructure and educational opportunities.

World debut: Energy from marshlands

The BMEL has set up its own project, Land Future, featuring two regions, each with its own innovative approach to developing regional added value chains. As part of the display devoted to ‘The value-added chain – wood’, the region of Werra-Meissner in the state of Hesse is displaying modern furniture, produced in the region using locally sourced raw materials. New approaches are being adopted by West Pomerania-Greifswald in the exploitation of local marshland using the technique known as paludiculture, the cultivation of wetlands. Visitors to the Green Week will be able to learn about the world’s first heating plant operating with biomass from low-lying moorland, which uses re-wetted peat as a fuel in order to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, thereby saving between 290,000 and 380,000 litres of heating oil.

Whose village has a promising future?

The BMEL is using the Green Week competition ‘Our village has a future‘ to promote and reward outstanding commitment to rural development. 25 villages are already involved, and more are being encouraged to take part. Among the villages represented are Pretschen, in the federal State of Brandenburg, and Eicherscheid, in North Rhine-Westphalia. The organization Erlebnisdörfer e.V. is setting up a village kitchen, which is not only providing food but is also inviting people to get actively involved. Specific regional dishes from the featured villages will be prepared and can also be sampled. Visitors are also being encouraged to play an active part and, for example, make their own potato pancakes with stewed apple. A new seal of quality ‘Regional is ideal‘ is also being presented, and its importance in the regional added value process will be explained.

Interconnected Germany

The BMEL and the German Networking Centre for Rural Areas (DVS) are sharing a stand to explain to visitors to the Green Week about the creativity and the potential that exist in rural areas. The emphasis is on highly committed people and their projects and they will be showing, for example, how to successfully revitalize a village centre, and how culture and cuisine can be effectively combined. Numerous musical groups and artists will also be appearing.

LEADER is an affirmative action programme from the European Union, which has been assisting innovative campaigns in rural areas since 1991. LEADER projects from Brandenburg are being presented at the Green Week for the second time. Their presentations are being made in collaboration with the Working Group for Historic Village Centres, on the stand of the nationwide coordinating body, the Rural Areas Forum – Network Brandenburg, and will be showing ways in which life in the countryside can continue to be attractive in the future. In 2015 the Land Berlin is being represented by the Blankenfelde city estate, showing the historical development of the estate, and also featuring craftsmen, artists and institutions from the village of Blankenfelde.

Women in the country

The winners of the dlv Businesswomen’s Competition will be reporting on their experiences on the stand of the German Countrywomen’s Association (dlv). Equal pay advisors will be providing information on the subject of equal opportunities in rural areas. According to a study by the German Institute for Economic Research, on average, women in Germany earn 22 per cent less than men, but the gap is 10 per cent higher in the countryside. The winners of the dlv Businesswomen’s Competition will be showing what women can do to rectify this situation, and one example is to become entrepreneurs themselves. The dlv is launching its latest campaign with the slogan ‘Women! Vote!’, in an effort to encourage more women to join the committees in the next round of elections for the social security organizations.

Bread alone is not enough

The charity Brot für die Welt will be placing a focus on food that is healthy and diverse. Under the campaign heading of ‘Being full is not enough!’ this Christian relief organisation will be drawing attention to ‘the silent hungry’: worldwide, two billion people are malnourished due to a lack of vital nutrients. Visitors to the displays and the stand can find out more about what needs be done to end hunger and malnutrition and what our food and consumer habits have to do with that.

2015 International Year of the Soil

Marking the International Year of the Soil in 2015 the presentation by the German Catholic Rural Youth Organization (KLJB) focuses on living soils. For the KLJB soil fertility is not an abstract concept with little relevance to most of us. In fact it has an important part to play even in window boxes and on balconies in our own homes. The stand will feature various creative activities aimed at showing how to raise awareness of the importance of healthy soils and sustainable cultivation.

What it is like in the fire service

Visitors to the stand of the Berlin regional fire service association can acquaint themselves with the work of the Berlin Voluntary Firefighters, and obtain details about fire protection, young firefighters and volunteering in the Berlin Fire Service. There are just under 1,400 volunteers engaged in fire-fighting, technical assistance, rescue services and civil protection. Visitors can try out some of the equipment and clothing used by firefighters, and can also inspect an original emergency vehicle. Using a model house, fire chiefs will explain the correct action to take in the event of a fire, and will demonstrate resuscitation measures using a lifelike dummy.

Reducing animal suffering

With its two-stage animal welfare label ‘For improved animal welfare”, the German Animal Welfare Federation has introduced a clearly understandable and scientifically based labelling system based on the criteria of humane farming methods and treatment of chickens and pigs being raised for meat production. Experts from the Animal Welfare Academy and advisors from the German Animal Welfare Federation will be on the stand to provide information about the entry and premium levels of this label, which provides better orientation for consumers and improved living conditions for livestock.

Hall 4.2: ‘Dream of a lifetime’

In addition to numerous activities on the stands and in the ’marketplace’ as well as information and interesting conversations, visitors can expect a wide-ranging, non-stop programme of stage events on the Land Show stage organised by Agrarsoziale Gesellschaft. It includes discussion rounds, music, cooking shows, samples and much, much more. The acrobatic feats of young performers belonging to Circus UBUNTU will ensure visitors are kept entertained.

Contact:

Agrarsoziale Gesellschaft e.V. (ASG)

Michael Busch

Telephone: +49 (0)551 497 09 35, email: info@asg-goe.de

Internet: www.asg-goe.de