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Press Release

January 15, 2015

International Green Week Opening - Welcoming Address by Dr. Wolfgang Ingold, Chairman of BVE

(The spoken word remains the authoritative version)

1. Greetings


Deputies, State Secretaries,

Your Excellencies and Guests from around the world,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the German food industry I welcome you to this year’s International Green Week.

- The IGW is presenting an international display of the achievements of the food industry and agriculture for the 80th time

- During this time it has become firmly established as the world’s most important consumer show

2. Once again the IGW demonstrates that food production today takes place simultaneously both on a regional and on a global scale

- All of us here eat every day

- Safeguarding the diversity of foodstuffs is one of the outstanding achievements of our economic prosperity and our technological progress

- During the next few days manufacturers from every region of the world will be presenting their ranges of products and services

- With the increase in globalisation agriculture and the food industry have also acquired a more international dimension

- A sustainable food supply begins with increased local production

- At the same time the differences in regional supply and demand and the requirements of consumers now make global trade indispensable

- There is worldwide competition on the food market

- Germany is an active participant and has become established as a major trading partner in the agricultural sector

- We are now the world’s third largest exporter and importer of foodstuffs

3. Greater liberalisation of world trade offers benefits and also presents challenges

- Germany’s food manufacturers are facing up to international competition

- One third of their earnings now come from abroad

- Rising demand and an increasing share of the export market are safeguarding income and employment for many companies

- What applies to our processed products is also true of the suppliers of the necessary raw materials. Trade is based on reciprocity

- Exports and good trading relations lead to investments and the exchange of knowledge and technology

- Along with the potential benefits also come challenges in agricultural trade

- Existing trade barriers, differing regulations and points of view, lengthy bureaucratic processes and a market with an increasing number of protagonists

- Political uncertainties also affect business and consumers

- In order to remain competitive in such a situation there must be a joint call by politics and business must for greater trade liberalisation

- There must be a binding commitment to dismantle obstacles to trade, and access to markets must be improved

- Through numerous negotiations about economic partnership and free trade agreements the EU is increasingly opening its doors to the world market

- Widespread attention is being focused on the negotiations with the USA in particular

- The food industry is highly export-oriented and supports these agreements, which provide it with improved access to the market

- Measures which facilitate trade are both possible and necessary

4. Global food chains bring with them increased responsibility

- As food production acquires a more international dimension this also imposes greater responsibilities on those involved in this market to meet the growing requirements of consumers and operate transparently, efficiently, sustainably and in a greater spirit of partnership throughout the entire value-added chain

- Scarce natural resources must be used responsibly in order to safeguard their continued existence

- At the same time food production must be increased, because hunger and malnutrition are an ongoing problem

5. The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is seeking common solutions

- This year this international conference is taking place during the IGW for the seventh time

- Under the slogan ‘The growing demand for food, energy and raw materials: opportunities for agriculture and a challenge to food security?’, leading representatives from politics, business, science and civil society will be discussing the current challenges confronting global food security

- It is obvious that secure and adequate food supplies can not be taken for granted even now

6. What is the situation in Germany?

- The range of foodstuffs available in this country is of a higher quality and more diverse than ever before, and at reasonable prices

- Consumers can choose from more than 170,000 products, and it has been shown that they only purchase items that meet their individual requirements

- The exacting demands of the market subject companies to intense competition

- With a workforce of around 557,000 in 6,000 businesses the food industry is the fourth largest industrial sector in Germany

- It is indispensable for providing 80 million consumers with the best possible food

- Nevertheless, our companies regularly encounter animosity

- It is high time that the false view of our industry is replaced by reality

- An appeal to those involved in the added-value chain to create clarity, to effectively explain about modern food production, and to take consumers’ concerns seriously

- An appeal to policy-makers to show their commitment to modern food production, to future-proof it and to safeguard its competitiveness by creating the appropriate economic and consumer policy condition

- Please note / Invitation to visit the stand of BVE and BLL in Hall 22a, an important meeting place for consumers, trade visitors, politicians and the media and consequently, an outstanding platform for a dialogue again this year

7. For this International Green Week I now wish you all every success, constructive discussions and rewarding business.

Make use of this, the world’s largest consumer fair, for a “Food Dialogue” with our customers.

On behalf of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries I extend the best wishes to you for a healthy and successful new year

Thank you