High-quality and affordable food, sufficient income for farmers and species-appropriate animal husbandry – these are the goals that the new Federal Minister of Agriculture, Cem Özdemir (Greens), wants to “bring together”. That is a “huge social goal,” Özdemir said on Friday in the Bundestag. “But we also have something of it.”
In the parliamentary debate on the federal government’s policy, the minister said that healthy nutrition is the basis “for the well-being of all of us”. In the debate about higher food prices, he doesn’t believe in playing groups off against each other.
Food policy is also social policy. “We don’t want to accept it when people on low incomes have a significantly increased risk of developing chronic diseases.” Don’t skimp on food.
Özdemir wants to change “exploitative system”.
Özdemir paid tribute to the work of the farmers; they made sure “that we have our food on the table every day”. It is not okay “and not without alternative” that a farmer only gets 22 cents of the euro that a customer spends on pork in the shop.
“It’s just a mess. You can change that, you have to change that and this coalition will change that,” announced the minister. He is not prepared to simply continue to accept this “exploitative system”.
This also includes species-appropriate animal husbandry. The coalition wants to support the farmers here with the necessary conversion of stables, said Özdemir. He promised transparent and binding animal welfare labeling later this year.
“If the animal is doing better, the farmers have to feel it in their wallets.” Even with the existing voluntary animal welfare label, the additional income flows into a fund to support the farmers involved.
Expand organic farming – reduce the use of pesticides
The aim of the coalition is a 30 percent share of organic farming – in the area, but also on the supermarket shelf, said Özdemir. The use of pesticides in the fields should be reduced. To this end, the coalition will “further develop” the EU agricultural payments allotted to Germany.
The minister went on to say that the coalition does not need to “reinvent the wheel” in agriculture and food policy. The Borchert Commission on the future of livestock farming in Germany and then the Future Commission on Agriculture had “developed great ideas”.
The Future Commission for Agriculture was set up by Özdemir’s predecessor, Julia Klöckner (CDU). In July, representatives of around 30 organizations from agriculture, environmental and animal protection, science, business and consumer protection recommended a far-reaching restructuring of agriculture.
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The Commission considers the financing to be a task for society as a whole; she pleaded for state support, but also for higher food prices. The animal population must therefore shrink significantly.
The Commission estimated the cost of the conversion at seven to eleven billion euros per year. However, the costs of “business as usual” are much higher: 90 billion euros annually, also due to climate-damaging emissions, air and groundwater pollution and the loss of biodiversity. (AFP)
Source From: Tagesspiegel