With the Federal Chancellor in the show bakery
"If I knew that the world would end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today," Martin Luther is said to have once said. Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not plant an apple tree at Grüne Woche, but he did plant a copper beech. The copper beech was Tree of the Year 2022 and is considered one of the most important deciduous trees in German forests. Hopefully the world won't end tomorrow. However, the current political mood is certainly tense, not least due to the farmers' protests of recent weeks. That's why Olaf Scholz took the opportunity to meet industry representatives at Grüne Woche and exchange ideas with them.
Drones for rescuing fawns
During an hour-and-a-half tour, Mr Scholz was given a demonstration of future technologies, such as AI-supported wildlife rescue drones that search mown areas for fawns and robots for harvesting strawberries. At the German forestry stand, Mr Scholz placed a beech tree in a bed and had the ecological function of forests and moors explained to him. In the show kitchen of the Federal Association of the German Food Industry (BVE), Berlin chef Daniel Schade prepared pancakes together with the Chancellor.
Mr Scholz took half an hour to talk to four young farmers and the President of the German Farmers' Association, Joachim Rukwied, before moving on to the bakery guild's show bakery. In the glass bakery, Scholz practised braiding a lye plait with a trainee and chatted to Nicole and Patrick Mittmann, who are members of the German national bakery team.
Promises for less bureaucracy
What remains at the end of such a tour? Insights into an industry that is under considerable pressure due to climate change, a shortage of skilled labour and fierce international competition - and a feel for some possible solutions. His conversation with the young farmers was so interesting "that we immediately agreed to continue," said Scholz in his closing statement. The Federal Government will "do everything it can" to ensure that agriculture in Germany is successful and sustainable.
However, Scholz emphasised that agriculture was also facing "major changes". This must be dealt with cautiously, pragmatically and in dialogue with the farming community. The Federal Chancellor promised the sector relief, particularly in terms of bureaucracy. "That's not what directly drives enthusiasm for the profession." The government will change the regulations in Germany "so that life on the farm, the life of those who work there, becomes easier".