Green Week food and agriculture fair opens in Berlin
Billed as the "world's biggest fair for food, agriculture and horticulture," the 75th International Green Week opens to the public on Friday, with more than 400,000 visitors, expected to attend, dpa reported.
The 1,600 trade exhibitors from around the world are putting on a "global display of the achievements of agriculture and the food industry" until January 24 at the International Conference Centre in Berlin.
The event is complemented by a three-day international policy forum - the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2010 - from January 14-16, attended by more than 50 agriculture ministers.
"The Green Week is an evergreen. As it marks this significant anniversary this event remains immune to crisis and continues to maintain its stability at a high level," said Christian Goeke, head of the venue.
The forum and fair itself will this year be occupied with the response of agriculture and the food industry to climate change, with a range of panel events and discussions throughout.
The International Food Policy Research in Washington has estimated that it would take 7 billion dollars a year for developing countries to finance the protection of agriculture from climate change.
German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner said Thursday that "The non-resolution of Copenhagen is a clear call for us all not to falter in our efforts," she said in her speech to the German Agriculture Society.
This year's fair comes at a time of booming investment in agriculture around the world, in the wake of the 2008 "food crisis," in which prices for many basic foodstuffs reached record highs.
In 2009, the trend continued, with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization's food price index going up by 20 per cent over the course of the year.
At the Group of Eight (G8) meeting in July, the world's richest economies pledged to increase their spending on agricultural development by 20 billion dollars by 2012.
Some 100,000 specialities from all over the world are on offer at the fair, the exhibition grounds are providing a temporary home for more than 11,000 household pets, and "the sight and scents of the sea of 30,000 flowering plants in the Floral Hall alone are a delight to visitors," organizers said.
Livestock shows, home gardening and cooking product displays, as well as extensive organic market and culinary specialities from 56 countries complete the range of attractions.