The Greens have called before the top discussion on agricultural policy in the Chancellery to distribute the billions of subsidies for agriculture differently. "For many farmers it has long been about their existence," said Bundestag parliamentary leader Anton Hofreiter the German Press Agency. Many would have to give up because they would not be reasonably paid for their products and put under massive pressure from grocery chains. "We demand that the billions of public funds are continuously tied to social benefits," said Hofreiter. "Instead of industrial large farms farmers should be promoted, who are committed to nature, environmental, climate and animal protection."
The goal must be an agricultural policy that works with nature. "Only if the federal government relies on class instead of mass will farmers have a future." In addition, effective measures against groundwater pollution and extinction would have to be undertaken, all of which would be costly. "The problems do not disappear by ignoring them," said Hofreiter. "Here the federal government must deliver at the agricultural summit."
Food needs to be more valuable
Party chief Robert Habeck also called for farmers to be better paid for their produce. "We really have to give more value to the value of food, and in fact we have a total devaluation of food," he said on Deutschlandfunk . "We see it at the counter, we see it in the farmers, who often work in the minuses, and we see it in a certain disposable mentality, the high-quality food simply thrown back in the trash." There are different screws to give food more value, so Habeck on. "But in the end, it means that farmers have to be paid higher." Consumers would also have to change their consumption habits "a bit."
The Greens leader also made demands on the Federal Government. Politics must change the framework conditions, thereby promoting ecological management more than intensive production. Also stable conversions to give animals more space, would have to be financially supported. The government is driving the farmers into a dead end, Habeck said. "We need a policy that reconciles consumers, wildlife and environmentalists and farmers, but it would be a different policy than what we have right now."
More participation, more appreciation
With tractors, farmers last week demonstrated in Berlin against the agricultural policy of the federal government and demanded more social appreciation. Farmers demand more participation and warn against excessive economic burdens.
In view of these and other protests in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel invited representatives of about 40 agricultural associations and organizations to the agricultural summit in the Chancellery. Minister of Agriculture Julia Klöckner will also participate. She had previously promised an involvement of the industry in further environmental protection regulations.
"We want to develop solutions together"
Among other things, the meeting will focus on planned new regulations for the protection of insects and groundwater. In September, the Cabinet had launched an "agricultural package" that had caused trouble. It provides, among other things, to restrict the use of weed and pest poisons to insect repellent. In addition, for better groundwater protection under EU pressure, fertilizer regulations would have to be tightened again. In addition, more money will be allocated to environmental measures from the EU's agricultural payments to the farms next year.
For the Chancellor, it is about a strong agriculture. The farmers would also have to find answers to new times. "And if we do not comply with the Fertilizer Ordinance for years, then I can not say now: Oh people, now there are three more years, it will not work," she said recently in the Bundestag. The Federal Minister of Agriculture told the German Press Agency before the agricultural summit: "We want to involve the industry and develop solutions together so that agriculture in Germany has a future."
Peasant President Joachim Rukwied welcomed that the Chancellor invites to a round table. "That can only be a prelude." In concrete terms, it is also about re-establishing the "Insect Protection Action Plan". "It would be good if the Chancellor made the issue a matter for the boss." Rukwied emphasized that farmers are open to new environmental measures. It is not about the if, but only about the how. "We want to bring nature conservation together, not just bans as a basis."