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Germany reinforces its commitment to continue the process of agricultural transformation started

The Commission for the Future of Agriculture of the German Federal Government has produced a report that will be delivered today to the Chancellor in search of a "more sustainable, economically successful and socially acceptable agriculture".

7/6/2021

Julia Klöckner, German Minister of Agriculture.

In view of the growing social expectations of agriculture, the Federal Cabinet of Germany established the 'Commission for the Future of Agriculture (ZKL)' in July 2020. The establishment of this independent government commission was a key result of the agricultural summit of December 2019, to which the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, invited some 40 agricultural associations. The task of the commission, chaired by Prof. Dr. Peter Strohschneider, was to develop long-term recommendations and guidelines for the process of transformation of the agricultural and food system. It was about looking more to the future, beyond the day to day. Specifically, it was about linking climate and environmental protection with food security and the preservation of economically viable agriculture in Germany. The ZKL is made up of all relevant areas: agriculture, economics, commerce, consumers, environment and animal welfare, as well as science. The Commission unanimously adopted its final report last week and it will be delivered to Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel today.

According to Julia Klöckner, German Agriculture Minister, “the final report and my policy point in the same direction: in the spirit of the report, we are already constantly making progress in the transformation process in agriculture. The Commission supports my path on essential points. On the one hand, it gives a clear commitment to a more sustainable, economically successful and socially acceptable agriculture. On the other hand, it shows that this transformation is not possible without the effort of society as a whole. It is clear that higher standards cost more money, I have always emphasized that. The commission sets the additional financial requirements for the transformation process between seven and eleven billion euros a year. These costs cannot be borne by companies alone. Especially since they are also in international competition, companies and society must invest together in the future of German agriculture. It is essential that farms are only able to truly meet the challenges if they have reliable economic prospects and, in particular, provide perspective to young farmers and potential successors to farms. The ZKL has confirmed the central importance of location and climate-adapted, high-yielding plants for change in agricultural and food systems. It should be reflected in a comprehensive policy strategy for plant breeding. The ZKL also sees considerable potential for greater sustainability in the digitization of agriculture.

Despite all the differences in individual positions, discussions centered on union. For this joint final report, a willingness to compromise and mutual recognition of different points of view and needs was necessary. And that's in an area where disputes are often polarizing and highly emotional. When the commission was created, it was a kind of pacification, of social balance. It is about each party recognizing that it is not about one thing or another, but about compromises and resolving conflicting goals. The unanimous decision on the final report is a strong and innovative signal. "


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