Agricultural Association, Food Council Freiburg and Region and Minister Peter Hauk will debate agriculture and nutrition in the Forum Merzhausen.
In addition to the climate change, there is also an urgent need for an agricultural and food turnaround. That was the basic tenor of the speakers in the Forum Merzhausen at the weekend. The Agricultural Association and the Food Council Freiburg and Region invited to a panel discussion on the subject of “Thinking together and shaping agriculture and nutrition together”.
When the State Minister for Food, Rural Areas and Consumer Protection, Peter Hauk, arrived more than an hour late, the inviting associations had already introduced themselves to around 70 registered visitors. The owner of the house, Merzhausen’s mayor Christian Ante, and Hanna Bhme, representing Freiburg’s mayor Martin Horn, who fell ill for a short time, had already spoken their greetings.
They all underlined the need for intact nature and healthy nutrition. To see agriculture not just as a food producer, food not just as a commodity – these were the approaches for the desired agricultural and nutritional change. In addition to the structural changes in the manufacturing companies and the distribution channels, the change in awareness is also crucial. “We need consumer information, we need education”, quoted Bhme, the chairman of the Freiburg economy, tourism and fair GmbH, from the words of Horns. “There is a lot to be done,” she promised the city’s support for the food council. A body that is specifically mentioned in the new coalition agreement of the state government.
The delayed Hauk then joined the group of topics. He just explained his late arrival by saying that he had previously been to the Piwi wine awards ceremony at the Freiburg Wine Institute, where he was already too late. The hosts accepted the Minister’s delay with kindness. Only Wolfgang Hees had become clear. “That is not an appreciation,” said the spokesman for the Food Council when, less than an hour after the start of the event, nothing could be seen from the minister.
Peter Hauk finally declared on the topic of the evening that politicians do not have too much leeway to contribute something to the change in nutrition. “We do not have a planned economy, we are not in the GDR or Cuba.” He put on the market because it was a matter of demand. “If people shop more consciously, production will follow suit by itself,” said Hauk. He is certain that farmers will respond in a demand-oriented manner. The starting point is sensitization, the appreciation of food, which “is not a matter of course”.
He sees opportunities for the state to do something specific itself in its pioneering role. “We have to go ahead in our state facilities and rely on sustainable, regional cuisine there,” said Hauk, who, when asked, conceded that this might not even have been implemented in five percent of the canteens. The public procurement lawyers in the Ministry of Finance are also a stumbling block, he indicated. Ultimately, the purchasing power also determines the grocery shopping of each individual.
An aspect that organic caterer Albert Whrle had already made clear. The fact that the organic share in the growing market for out-of-home dining in canteens, day-care centers and schools is only 1.3 percent is a question of price. “If we can offer organic food for 6.80 to 7.50 euros, but the upper limit for parents is 4 euros, there is a gap.” This gap must be closed.