July 24, 2021

Recommendation to the Federal Government: Committee for a new course in agriculture

As of: 07/06/2021 5:51 a.m.

The Agriculture Future Commission, which has been active since 2019, has presented its final report. The committee recommends a massive restructuring of the agricultural and food sector – and calls for billions to be invested.

From Birgit Schmeitzner,
ARD capital studio

These are recommendations that the Future Commission for Agriculture wrote down on around 170 pages. How can agriculture and food become more sustainable? That was the question to which the broad-based team from the fields of agriculture, environmental and animal protection, consumer protection, trade and science formulated answers.

Under the direction of the German scholar Peter Strohschneider – unfamiliar with the subject, but perhaps for that reason, according to commission members, a good mediator.

For Strohschneider, a factual approach was important: “It’s not a way of pasting conflicts of interest or objective differences of opinion with any compromise formulas, but a way that focuses on the matter.” And the three goals unite: economically feasible, ecologically responsible and socially acceptable.

Avoidance of “fighting terms”

Strohschneider emphasized in advance that the commission had avoided “fighting terms”. Kai Niebert, President of the German Nature Conservation Ring, also praises this in an interview with the ARDCapital studio. So no irritating words such as “regulatory law” in the text or “stocking down”, that is, the reduction of animal populations. Instead, the goal was formulated: eat and drink less animal products.

“For example, through VAT spreads, for example that we make plant-based products cheaper. And when the animal populations also fall as a result, we have achieved the goal of having more climate-friendly agriculture in Germany,” said Niebert.

The Future Commission assumes that its proposals will reduce agricultural productivity and increase costs. That begs the question of how this is to be balanced.

Consumer prices would go up

In the report, there is talk of state funding, but also that the need exceeds the available funds. It is a task for society as a whole, in other words: Consumers must also do their part by paying more money for food. The word “appreciation” is also used in this context.

The report that Strohschneider presented to Chancellor Angela Merkel late in the morning is not legally binding. In addition, there will be a new government after the general election in autumn.

Unanimous result formulated

But Niebert hopes that it will not really be able to close itself off from the paper either: “From my point of view, that is also a very important, I want to say almost historical point, that we have a unanimous result from agricultural chemistry to agriculture to the youth and environmental associations. ”

The President of the German Nature Conservation Association announced that commissioners will actively participate in the coalition-building process, plan parliamentary breakfasts and evenings – in order to ensure that the main features of the agreement for more sustainable agriculture are included in the next coalition agreement.

Merkel receives report on the future of agriculture

Birgit Schmeitzner, ARD Berlin, July 6th, 2021 12:47 am