Each of us can make a difference with our daily purchases – for the climate and for the people in developing countries who produce our coffee and our cocoa, or who sew our clothes. But how can we consumers in Germany identify whether food or clothing has been produced in a fair and sustainable way? Answers to this question are being provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and more than 25 partners in Hall 1.2b at the International Green Week Berlin (17 - 26 Jan.).
Development Minister Gerd Müller: “Whether it is coffee, cocoa or palm oil, we should strive to live sustainably, without exploiting nature or people. This presents a massive challenge, and it begins with the morning shower: shampoo contains palm oil. Rain forests in Indonesia and Malaysia are being cut down to create enormous plantations. Or at breakfast time: children have to labour on many of the coffee plantations. You can achieve a great deal if you choose fair trade products the next time you go shopping, for example, helping to ensure that environmental and social standards are upheld. Because at the heart of it all are people, who have to live from the work that they do. For this reason I hope very much that increasing numbers of customers ask such questions as: under what sort of conditions has my chocolate or my clothing been produced? Here at the Green Week we are showing how sustainable purchasing, climate protection and global justice can be successfully implemented. Our message is clear: sustainable consumption is possible.
Among the places that visitors can explore in Hall 1.2b are a tropical forest and areas used to cultivate cocoa, cotton and coffee. Here they can find out what cocoa pods look like, how they taste and how much work goes into making a bar of chocolate. We are also showing just how important tropical forests are for our climate, and what we can do to ensure their survival. Among the attractions are a walk-in, virtual reality dome that takes visitors to Madagascar and enables them to experience the impact of climate change.
14 African countries
In 2020 an Africa section will be created for the first time in Hall 1.2b. It will feature original African products which are being displayed by 14 countries from that continent (Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d‘Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda). They include dried fruit, olive oil, peanut butter, chocolate and cocoa products, cola nuts, cashews and peanuts, coffee, moringa and a wide range of spices, saffron and quinoa, typical regional dishes from Rwanda, coffee limes, pepper puree and baobab fruit, enriched cereals for babies, dried hibiscus flowers and kinkeliba leaves, fresh and dehydrated tapioca, various kinds of couscous, lima beans and red zebra beans as well as baobab nuts.
In addition there will be live cookery demonstrations each day by well-known chefs, who will be showing how a healthy and climate-conscious diet can be achieved using fair trade products. Adding to all these attractions will be performances by musicians and acrobats. And for those who are interested, and who are brave enough, we also have a kitchen preparing food made from insects.
Joining in the display by the BMZ at the Green Week are the German food aid charities Welthungerhilfe and Brot für die Welt, the WWF, Fairtrade, Vaude and many other organisations and involved companies.
Philipp Rock, press spokesman
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) firstname.lastname@example.org
Additional information on the Green Week: