Minister Schmidt presents Green Paper

On 30 December 2016, Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Christian Schmidt presented the Green Paper on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas. The contents: the guiding principles underpinning the future food and agricultural policies.

"The Green Paper provides a road map for future German agri-food policies. It sets out important policy milestones and priorities to achieve future-orientated agricultural structures and vibrant rural areas," said the Minister on the occasion of the presentation of the Green Paper.

The Green Paper on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas is the outcome of the Green Paper process initiated by Federal Minister Schmidt in 2015. Its goal is to build bridges between farmers and consumers - to foster better mutual understanding and to improve acceptance and transparency.
The presentation of the Green Paper does not constitute the end of the dialogue process; it is instead intended to act as an invitation to engage in a societal and political parliamentary debate.

Important milestones in the Green Paper on Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas at a glance


  • It is essential for the future of the agricultural sector that farming families continue to have access to the resources they need. It must therefore be made more difficult for non-agricultural and foreign investors to gain access to land.
  • We aim to have agricultural structures that support active farmers with strong roots in the regions. We will in future focus our support, with the help of the direct payments as well, on family livestock farms to help these farmers adapt to the changes that society is calling for.
  • We stand for a reliable Common Agricultural Policy and we are committed to the two-pillar structure that will continue to provide for reliable direct payments beyond 2020. It is our objective in future to focus direct payments more on active farmers rooted in the region.
  • One aim is for farm animals to live in better conditions. We endorse the approach of "animal welfare over performance" when it comes to further developing animal breeding. We are drawing up a national farm animal strategy and setting up a state animal welfare label.

Food and nutrition

  • We support people in having healthy diets and lifestyles. The objective is to considerably reduce diet-related diseases by 2030.
  • We are rethinking the concept of nutritional education. To this end, the Federal Centre for Food and Nutrition, the Institute of Child Nutrition and the National Quality Centre for Healthy Nutrition in Schools and Preschools have been set up.
  • We are promoting a healthy, affordable diet in schools and day-care facilities by abolishing value added tax for this kind of catering.
  • The basics for a well-balanced diet need to be laid at an early age. We therefore call for nutritional education to be taught as part of the school curriculum.
  • By adopting this reformulation strategy, we are reducing maximum levels of salt, sugar and fat in our foodstuffs.

Rural regions

  • Our aim is for our rural areas to become "workshops for the future" to provide ideas for the development of our society. They are attractive and independent places to live in, conduct business, spend leisure time and experience nature.
  • The focus is particularly on rural regions facing economic and structural deficits and demographic challenges. We need to further develop the Joint Task for the Improvement of Agricultural Structures and Coastal Protection by adding the fields of "rural areas" and "demography". In this context, we need to tackle the required amendment of the Basic Law.
  • In future, we need to have a Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Rural Areas. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has recently been restructured to provide the basis for this new development.
As of:


Green Paper on Food, Nutrition, Agriculture and Rural Areas - Good food, strong agriculture, vibrant regions

Cover Brochure

Healthy food and nutrition is a very immediate and personal part of our lives, and it is our agricultural sector that lays the foundation for this. Our agricultural, horticultural, viticultural and forestry sectors are also instrumental in shaping our homeland and landscapes. Food, agriculture and homeland: since time immemorial, these three aspects have been inextricably linked. However, our post-industrial, globalised societies, which rely heavily on the division of labour, have caused many people to lose sight of this natural connection. Until well into the 20th century, the crucial question was whether enough food could be produced for everyone; in contrast, contemporary social and political debate sometimes even questions whether we need a productive agricultural sector at all. This attitude often goes hand in hand with a pronounced criticism of globalisation. There are often fundamental objections to our aim of using our agrarian production in Europe to help feed the world. Some groups even put forward the idea that agriculture should focus only on protecting nature and conserving biodiversity.

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Cover Brochure Self-Potrait

The federal ministry‘s field of work is very broad and our commitments are diverse. In this brochure we would like to give you an outline of the ministry’s areas of activity and of our policy aims.


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