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Three questions for Joachim Rukwied

The past year has been very challenging. What issues do you think will occupy the industry in 2023?

Farmers will continue to feel the effects of Russia's war of aggression against Ukraine in 2023. The war dramatically shows us that security of supply cannot be taken for granted. The cost of food has increased tremendously, but so have inputs for us farmers, such as wages, feed, fertilizer and energy. It is important that these remain available. Ensuring stable food production in times of crisis will continue to be a challenge in the coming year. In addition, we will continue to work intensively on climate protection and the preservation of biodiversity. Agriculture will certainly become even more sustainable. The next, young generation of highly trained farmers that is currently growing up will show that they have a flair for modern and sustainable agriculture. With innovations and new methods, they will be able to farm successfully while meeting society's demands for more sustainable agriculture.

What are your top three topics at the upcoming International Green Week?

At our stand in the Farm Experience, we are focusing strongly on the main themes: Protecting the climate, preserving biodiversity and securing food. We farmers will be a key part of solving these tasks. Without us farmers it does not go. Whether vegan, vegetarian or flexitarian, we provide the basics of our nutrition, our food. We farmers have been adapting to climate change for some time and have set ourselves emission reduction targets in our own climate strategy. For example, we rely on water-saving cultivation methods, such as mulch or no-till farming. However, new breeding methods are also needed to obtain drought- and heat-tolerant plant varieties more quickly. To preserve biodiversity, for example, we offer flower strips as habitat and food for insects; the most recent example was a 230,000-kilometer strip five meters wide.

Did you miss the International Green Week as a platform during the Corona break?

Yes, I especially missed the many meetings and the personal and direct exchange. The International Green Week is the agricultural policy highlight at the beginning of every year. Nowhere else is it possible to meet so many people from the agricultural world and politics in a short time in one place. That makes the Green Week a very important industry gathering. In addition, I have missed the trade fair experience with all sensory perceptions in the last two years. Now visitors to the fair can smell, taste and try the many food innovations and delicacies again. I am particularly looking forward to that.

Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers' Union

Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers' Union

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