The growing demand for food, raw materials and energy:
opportunities for agriculture, challenges for food security?
15 - 17 January 2015 in Berlin
Welcoming address by the Federal Minister for Food and Agriculture
Member of the German Bundestag
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The world population is growing rapidly and hence the demand for food, raw materials and energy supplies is also growing. Agriculture plays a key role in this regard. Agriculture's first and foremost task is and continues to be to feed the world's population. However, it has had to deal with a number of new demands in recent years. Agriculture is now expected to provide food security and at the same time also increasingly meet needs for other resources, such as raw materials and energy.
Bioeconomy, a sustainable, bio-based and diversified form of agriculture, provides an approach that can meet these diverse demands. Bioeconomy makes it possible to increase food production efficiently, produce healthy and high-quality food, promote the use of bioenergy and protect the environment and the climate at the same time. In this context, conflict and competition regarding aims and the use of scarce resources must be reconciled. Closely interconnected trade flows and the demand for fair and just participation in global markets are a challenge for all of us. We are faced with the task of finding new approaches for a coherent agricultural policy.
This is a challenge we wish to tackle at the 7th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). Under the GFFA's heading "The growing demand for food, raw materials and energy: opportunities for agriculture, challenges for food security?", the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture offers key stakeholders from politics, industry, academia and civil society a platform to discuss the future opportunities, potential and challenges that bioeconomy brings, based on the premise of food security.
The aim of GFFA is, in a series of expert panel discussions, working meetings and an international panel, to identify ways and means of sustainably meeting the diverse and growing demands that are being made of the agricultural sector. As in the past years, the results of the various GFFA events will guide the work of the Berlin Agriculture Ministers' Summit - the largest international conference of agriculture ministers in the world. Their decisions, formalised in the Final Communiqué of the 7th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Summit, will then contribute to the international debate on agricultural policy.
The GFFA 2015 is organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in cooperation with the Senate of Berlin, Messe Berlin GmbH and in close collaboration with the German agri-food industry, represented by GFFA Berlin e.V.. Actors from politics, industry and civil society will take on shared responsibility and make a contribution to solving central issues that are of vital importance for the future of the global agri-food sector.
I would like to cordially invite you to join the discussions and the meetings and make your contribution to enrich the GFFA with your ideas!
Your Christian Schmidt,
Member of the German Bundestag
Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture
Christian Schmidt (Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture)