Green Week 2017: More of a leading trade fair than ever before

Once again the International Green Week Berlin 2017 emphasised its function as a leading trade fair for national and international agribusiness. From 20 to 29 January a total of 1,650 exhibitors from 66 countries provided a comprehensive review of the food industry's global market and of the achievements of agriculture and horticulture. The discussions about 'Animal Welfare', the quality and safeness of the food we eat, and safeguarding the world's food supplies in the face of a steadily increasing world population were among the aspects that dominated this trade fair.

Messe Berlin registered at the trade fair and conferences of the Green Week 2017 total almost 400,000. In addition to visitors attending this event daily the halls were filled each day with some 10 000 personnel such as exhibitors and stand staff, service operatives and media representatives. Per capita expenditure by visitors to the fair remained at last year's level, exceeding of 120 euros and providing exhibitors with sales worth more than 48 million euros.

Over 200 leading politicians from home and abroad attended the Green Week 2017 together with their delegations, and participated in the supporting programme of agricultural policy events.

The opening ceremonies at the CityCube Berlin, attended by some 3,500 invited guests and including members of delegations from over 90 countries, were dominated by the partner country, Hungary, represented by its Minister for Agriculture, Sándor Fazekas. Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers' Union, and Dr. Wolfgang Ingold, Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries, represented the non-commercial sponsors of the Green Week.

Factors such as economic expansion, population growth and urbanisation mean that competition for water is increasing. How can the farming industry fulfil its task of feeding a global population that continues to grow? And how can it contribute to managing water, a valuable resource, in sustainable ways? These were the issues focused on at the 9th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture in Berlin, which was organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. From 19 to 21 January ten specialist panel discussions, two high-level panel discussions and an international business panel examined the key topic: 'Agriculture and Water – the Key to Feeding the World'.

The German government was especially well represented at this year’s Green Week. In addition to the traditional show by the Federal Ministry for Agriculture, visitors were also provided with information by the Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Federal Ministry for the Environment.

Among the international presentations this year interest focussed on the partner country with its slogan ‘Rich in tradition, diversity and nature: Hungary’. In particular it reflected the role of the Green Week as a test market.

High-ranking members of international delegations also highlighted the role of the Green Week for marketing products and establishing new business ties.

The Green Week’s culinary tour of 14 German states in nine display halls underlined the current consumer trend towards regional products and featured the widest range of regional specialities on show at any trade fair. The authentic displays of regional products are very important for the individual states.

The subject of ‘Regional Characteristics’ is something that consumers can even taste, and is consequently of major importance for the retail food trade.

Featuring a wide-ranging display of regional food products away from the bustle of the fair the Professional Center in the Marshall Haus was well received by retailers. Exhibitors presented their foods here exclusively to trade visitors from the food retail trade, catering and the hotel industry. Producers were also able to advertise product seals and certification and supply important delivery information. At the Professional Center retailer and wholesaler representatives also came to inspect new products for their market potential.

Ranked in order of popularity, this year’s biggest attractions for the public were the Floral Hall (Hall 2.2), followed by the Livestock Hall (Hall 25) and the Bio Hall (Hall 1.2), which was tied in third with the Farm Experience (Hall 3.2) and the World of Pets in Hall 26. Consumers are especially keen on organic products which for years now have been an integral part of the Green Week. New sections, among them the Market Hall, were also very popular with visitors.

News from the Green Week was spread around the globe by the 4,820 media representatives from 65 countries. International coverage, combined with many reports about business and cultural activities, as well as entertainment and leisure opportunities in the capital, provided Berlin with additional publicity with long term benefits for the city. The expenditure by out-of-town visitors and exhibitors at the Green Week provided Berlin and the surrounding region with an influx of purchasing power worth around 150 million euros.

The International Green Week Berlin 2017 was organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. Its non-commercial sponsors were the German Farmers’ Union (DBV) and the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE). The 83rd Green Week will take place from 19 to 28 January 2018 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

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