German Agriculture Minister calls for higher food prices

Germany’s new Agriculture Minister Cem Oezdemir addressed the country’s largest tabloid over the weekend to call for increases in food and farm prices, telling Bild am Sonntag that “the prices of the junk “drive” farms to ruin, prevent more animal welfare, promote the extinction of species and pollute the climate. “

While this push fits into his Green Party’s standard repertoire, it comes at a time when inflation is at its highest level in three decades.

Compared to their counterparts in the European Union, Germans have already paid more than the bloc average, according to Eurostat data for 2020.

It comes as Germany’s new government is committed to reducing the use of weedkillers by farmers, improving the welfare of farm animals and restricting the advertising of sugar-containing products to children to get more nutrition. healthy.

The coalition deal will establish a three-way federal government and end a 16-year Conservative-led regime under Angela Merkel following an election in September. The new coalition includes center-left Social Democrats, Green environmentalists and Free Democratic Libertarians (FDP).

The controversial weedkiller Glyphosate will be taken off the market by the end of 2023 as part of a larger program to reduce the use of weedkillers, according to the agreement.

Glyphosate has been the subject of claims that it could cause cancer and has been the subject of lawsuits in the United States and restrictions in countries like France, although regulators around the world have determined that it was safe.

The new government wants to achieve a level of 30% organic farming in Germany by 2030. Additional financial support will be provided to farmers to switch from conventional farming to organic farming, he said.

A mandatory animal welfare label will be introduced for meat from 2022. It will cover animal welfare during transport and slaughter.

The transport of live farm animals to third countries outside the EU will only be allowed if the routes have proven facilities for the care and welfare of the animals.

The legal basis will be introduced to allow video surveillance of sections of slaughterhouses of particular importance for animal welfare.

The new government wants to “significantly reduce” ammonia and methane emissions from agriculture and bring German agriculture towards the goal of climate neutrality.

It aims to decide on a national food strategy by 2023, with a focus on healthier diets for children. Steps will be taken to find more alternatives to meat.

Advertising of foods high in sugar, fat and salt targeting children under the age of 14 will be stopped, although the coalition agreement makes no mention of sugar taxes.

James R. Rhodes