Special Show of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture at the International Green Week from 16 to 25 January 2015

At the 80th International Green Week in Berlin, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) will once again be represented by its own Special Show in Hall 23a of the Berlin Fairground. Under the title "A Place for Ideas to Grow", the BMEL will this year be focusing on current developments in the fields of breeding and breeding research. The special show also offers visitors the opportunity to find out more about important links in the value-added chains in the fields of food, agriculture and horticulture.

The sustainable use of natural resources is the main instrument for an efficient agricultural sector based on good farming practice. The aim of this year's BMEL special show is to present innovative projects from the fields of breeding and breeding research. Sustainable and resource-conserving production will be demonstrated using the example of ornamental plants that were optimised by a targeted combination of innovative greenhouse technology and agronomic breeding. In the plant sector, breeding and breeding research stand for the development of new crop varieties that are disease-resistant and adapted to changed climatic conditions. In BMEL Hall 23a, the focus is on new resilient ornamental plants, new apple varieties and also conservation varieties as a basis for conserving genetic resources.

Bees remain an irreplaceable part of the food-production chain, which means that they are of vital environmental and economic importance. The special show therefore provides information on the opportunities open to the beekeeping sector, on the risks posed to bees by man and the environment and on safeguarding and promoting beekeeping.

Soils are another priority area of the 2015 BMEL Special Show: The International Year of Soils 2015 is about raising awareness of the importance and the value of fertile soils for the existence of humans, animals and plants. The show demonstrates the characteristics of soil, the different types of soil and the different uses to which soils are put. The section on soil preservation and improvement by crop rotation provides information on useful crop rotations and the use of a new crop mix using new energy crops.

The part of the exhibition devoted to "consumer education" enables visitors to learn about food safety and describes the transparent steps taken during food-inspection and quality-assurance processes. One core aspect is the labelling of food, in particular the new mandatory labelling elements laid down in the Food Information Regulation, which will come into effect at European level as of 2016. Other aspects include quality labels for online purchases of foods and information on health claims in food advertising. The presentation of different logos and quality labels such as the "Bio-Siegel" (a German organic production logo), the Fairtrade label and the GM-free label forms an important part of this section, as does the illustration of the traceability of products along the entire value-added chain.

The booth devoted to the BMEL's "Too good for the bin" campaign offers tips on avoiding food waste and provides recipes for preparing tasty dishes from leftovers. The ecological footprint of food losses shows that food losses occur across the globe and have repercussions for the economy, the environment and food security.

Visitors can also learn about the potential of rural areas. One of the challenges that rural areas will face in the future is that of demographic change. Providing young people with attractive conditions in rural areas is therefore crucial for developing this potential. Other topical subjects include ensuring that rural areas have local amenities and creating alternative sources of income for family farms. The possibilities these family farms have for economic development, the farms' active involvement and the potential they have for diversifying and developing innovative business strategies are presented using the example of the range of different training options involved in offering Farm-Experience products and services. Other fields in which rural areas have good prospects for the future include the marketing of regional products as an expression of rural identity and tradition, and also the development of novel forms of recreation and tourism. In hall 23 a, 128 promotional "queens" will advertise regionality and culinary delights.

The Special Show also contains information on bioenergy villages and bioenergy regions which illustrate the variety and benefits of the use of sustainable resources, particularly biogas and wood.

The new three-way communication network, made up of the BMEL information counter, "Spotlight on BMEL" and the stage forum, provides a platform for dialogue on a number of specialist issues. Other sections well worth spending time at include the forum for families and school children and the cookery studio. The bakery offers the best of the German bakery trade. Exciting competitions for the whole family pick up on the topics dealt with in the Special Show in an informative and entertaining way. A stage programme featuring personalities from politics, industry and entertainment, and the Hall Café, round off the fascinating BMEL Special Show 2015 "A Place for Ideas to Grow" in Hall 23a.

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