G7 presidency - handover to Japan

On 1 January 2023, Japan took over the Presidency of the G7 from Germany. Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir spoke with Minister Nonaka, his Japanese counterpart, about the transfer in the margins of the OECD Agriculture Ministers’ Conference in Paris.

They exchanged thoughts and ideas on the most important challenges for the G7 in the food and agricultual sectors. The key topic was the transformation of the food systems.

Özdemir: “Solving the multiple crises - climate, biodiversity, food - requires coordinated multilateral action. It is therefore crucial that the G7 continues to play a pioneering role in the vital transformation to sustainable food systems in the global agri-food sector.”

The transformation to sustainable food systems was the focus of the German G7 Presidency in agriculture. Özdemir expressed his hope that the following Japanese G7 Presidency would build on the impulses provided by the G7 Agriculture Ministers' meeting in Stuttgart. These comprised:

  • sustainable global agricultural supply chains and the goals of sustainable agriculture;
  • the opportunities and risks of new approaches in the agricultural sector, such as humus formation with carbon storage;
  • the “silent pandemic”, i.e. the further spread of antimicrobial resistances;
  • the strengthening of the role played by inclusive and intergovernmental multi-stakeholder platforms, such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS); and
  • the keeping open of agricultural markets and stabilisation of the supply situation.

The G7 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting took place in Miyazaki on 22/23 April.

The G7 Agriculture Ministers affirmed their support for a sustainable transformation of the global food systems in order to fight hunger, the climate crisis and the extinction of species. They agreed that agriculture will only be able to serve both current and future generations if it mitigates climate change and conserves biodiversity. The G7 Agriculture Ministers also discussed the impact of Russia’s illegal war of aggression against Ukraine.

To view the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ communiqué, please go here.

Italy will assume the presidency of the G7 in 2024.

G7 Online Workshop

On 29 November 2022, a 3 hour G7 online workshop was held on the topic of “Carbon sequestration in agriculture – opportunities and challenges”.

For further information such as workshop programme and presentations please click here.

The German G7 Presidency

The effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and its consequences for global food security will also remain a clear priority on the G7 agenda. This also applies to establishing alternative transport routes, also as a measure to combat the illegal confiscation of Ukrainian grain.

The results of the OECD study on G7 due diligence rules commissioned under Germany’s G7 presidency and expected in April 2023 will be fed into the Japanese G7 process. The German G7 agenda will also be expanded on in two workshops on options and challenges presented by carbon sequestration in agriculture and on the origin of grain imports. The resolutions of the OECD Agriculture Ministers’ Conference could be valuable for the G7 members, in order for example to promote sustainable consumption and reform agricultural policy measures. Özdemir emphasised the traditionally good cooperation with Japan and pledged Germany’s support for Japan’s G7 Presidency.

G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Stuttgart on 13 / 14 May 2022

During the meeting, the agriculture ministers of the most important industrial nations exchanged views and information on urgent global matters relating to the agri-food sector. The discussions focussed on Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine, the repercussions of this attack for Ukraine itself and the impact on global food security.

Ukraine’s Minister of Agriculture Mykola Solsky also came to Stuttgart and talked to his G7 colleagues about the consequences of the war for his country.

Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir said in Stuttgart: “Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified attack on Ukraine dictated the focus of our meeting. Not only is the climate crisis threatening food security, but the war has also increased the pressure on global food systems.” He continued by saying that Putin’s war had exacerbated world hunger. He said: “We have given a pledge to support Ukraine with long-term measures. We will continue to ensure food supplies for the Ukrainian population and we will support the Ukrainian agricultural sector wherever possible. And we will help Ukraine to resume its agricultural exports.”

Address delivered by Federal Minister Cem Özdemir

at the G7 Agriculture Ministers' Conference 2022

A priority topic was the transformation to sustainable food systems. A joint final communiqué was adopted on this subject and on the effects of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Statements and commitments from this document were fed into the summit of the G7 heads of state and government at Schloss Elmau in June 2022.

At the closing press conference, Federal Minister Özdemir said: “We are against export bans and we call for markets to be kept open. We have also spoken with concern about the fact that some countries have imposed an export ban on wheat or palm oil. We urge all countries to meet their responsibilities.”

Continuing the work on combating hunger, climate change and the extinction of species

With a view to the implications of the climate crisis, Minister Özdemir said: “I am delighted that we have also reached a common understanding that we cannot solve crises by exacerbating others. It is clear to us that we must continue our work on combating hunger, climate change and the extinction of species.” He continued by saying that it was people from areas that had been worst hit by the climate crisis and biodiversity loss that were suffering most from hunger. He added: “The G7 want to take the lead at international level to outline pathways towards sustainable food systems. The right to food can only be implemented if we enable farmers all over the world to sustainably increase productivity and to strengthen resilient ecosystems.”

G7 Agriculture Senior Officials’ Meeting (ASOM) on illegal grain trade

After the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting in Stuttgart and the G7 summit in Elmau, the G7 Senior Officials of the agriculture working group are working towards implementing the adopted substantive goals: on 6 December, the G7 held discussions with Mr Dmytrasevych, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of Ukraine, and representatives from the research community on possible ways to identify the true origin of grain that has intentionally been mislabelled with a false indication of origin. The discussions were scheduled following a continuing high incidence of illegal trading activities in Ukrainian grain conducted by Russia- recent reports refer to a total value of approx. 1 billion USD –, which further exacerbate the precarious situation of the Ukrainian agricultural sector and threaten to undermine trust in agricultural trade. There was general agreement that the global food crisis must not be exacerbated and that particular focus should be placed on raising stakeholder awareness, alongside deterring future violations. The initiative, which takes up the results of the G7 summit in Elmau will be continued under the forthcoming G7 Presidency, which will be assumed by Japan on 1 January 2023.

G7 Presidency rotates between members on an annual basis

The G7 consists of the democracies of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Japan, Canada and the U.S. The European Union is also represented at all G7 meetings. The Presidency rotates between members on an annual basis. At the beginning of 2022, Germany took over the Presidency from the United Kingdom, and will be succeeded by Japan in 2023.

Meeting of the G7 Agriculture Ministers in Stuttgart

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The G7 is considered a platform for developing key impetus for the solution of global issues on a basis of common values. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is building on this: the climate crisis, the global loss of biodiversity and the high levels of hunger and malnutrition worldwide underline the importance of forward-looking and concerted international action. Through their meeting, the G7 Agriculture Ministers will contribute to this effort.

In addition to the meetings at ministerial level, the milestones of the 2022 G7 process included two meetings of the national negotiators. In April and May 2022, they prepared the joint final communiqué that the Agriculture Ministers adopted in Stuttgart.

Berlin Ministerial Conference on Uniting for Global Food Security

The Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economic Cooperation and Agriculture Join Forces

Minister of Agriculture Cem Özdemir, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and Development Minister Svenja Schulze held discussions on June 24, two days before the G7 Summit in Elmau, with over 50 representatives of governments, development banks, international organisations and civil society about a coordinated and effective answer to the global hunger crisis, which has been dramatically exacerbated by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. The results can be found here.

The G7 countries did not isolate themselves from other organisations and bodies: Federal Minister Özdemir had invited representatives from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO). This process also ensured that others were heard, for instance the G7 engagement groups Business7, Civil7, Labour7, Science7, Think7, Women7 and Youth7, as well as other stakeholders. The BMEL will inform these groups about the G7 projects and the outcomes.

In early March, the G7 Agriculture Ministers had met virtually for an extraordinary meeting at the invitation of Cem Özdemir, German Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture. This meeting was aimed at discussing the effects the unfolding war was having on global food and nutrition security. Despite global market disruptions, the food supply in Germany is secure. However, a special meeting of the Rapid Response Forum of the G20 Agricultural Market Information System (AMIS) held in early March showed that countries reliant on imports – in particular developing nations – could be expected to have considerable supply shortages.

Russia accounts for 10 percent and Ukraine for 4 percent of global wheat production. In recent years, the EU share in global wheat production amounted to approximately 20 percent.

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