Green Week 2007

The International Green Week Berlin 2007, which takes place from 19 to 28 January, is presenting exhibits from all over the world and has a stronger European dimension than ever before. On 18 January the opening ceremonies of the world's consumer show for agriculture, food and horticulture will be dominated by Germany's presidency of the Council of the EU. The supporting programme is intended to reflect Europe's self-awareness during Germany's presidency and will take as its slogan "Europe's regions – ready for the future".

Chancellor Merkel will serve as President of the Council of Europe for six months. The Federal Minister of Agriculture Horst Seehofer will take over as chairman of the Council of Ministers of Agriculture. While exercising these functions both of them will also be conducting discussions about agricultural policy during the Green Week. With the accession of Romania and Bulgaria on 1 January 2007 the European Community now has 27 members and its population has grown to just under half a billion, giving added importance to the largest single market in the western world.

Among the attractions at this year's Green Week are two new main features dealing with bio-energy and renewable raw materials - "BerlinEnergy" and "Multi-talented Wood" -, a major attraction for the public, the Farm Experience, is being expanded, and once again there will be a vast range of specialities from every continent. "The Green Week has maintained its stability at a very high level" according to the Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin, Dr. Christian Göke, speaking at today's opening press conference. "For the professionals the trade show presents topical issues and looks into the future, while offering the general public plenty to enjoy and experience."

For ten days the 1, 601 exhibitors (1, 058 domestic / 543 foreign) from 56 countries will be presenting their displays on an area of 115, 000 square metres in the halls, with a comprehensive range of products and services from agriculture, the food sector and horticulture. Over 400, 000 visitors from the trade and the general public are expected in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, Some 250 accompanying events will be taking place in the ICC Berlin. They include the 14th East-West Agricultural Forum with some prominent participants, including a number of ministers, on the subject of "Agriculture and bio-energy – without agriculture the lights would go out" (20 Jan.) and the 27th International Agricultural Policy Forum, being staged by the German Farmers' Association (DBV) on "The health of livestock: avian flu, swine fever and blue tongue virus – the future of epidemic control" (25 Jan.).

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