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In a brief press release, BÖLW – the German Association of Organic Food Producers and Traders – commented on the results of the Eco-Barometer 2017 of the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture. They show that an increasing number of people are buying organic products and are prepared to pay more for the benefits of animal welfare, health and the environment. Now politicians have to step up to the plate.
Peter Röhrig, the managing director of BÖLW says that over 70 % of Germans now opt for organic products. An increasing number of people reward organic producers for decent standards in livestock keeping, plant protection that rejects the use of synthetic chemical pesticides, and for using non-harmful processing techniques. He sees high demand for organics and the trust people have in the organic industry as a challenge to politicians to change the direction of agriculture and food most definitely in the direction of organic.
Röhrig finds that the onus is now on the Federal Minister or Agriculture Christian Schmidt to implement the approaches contained in his future strategy for organic agriculture. What is particularly important is making specific use of the scope for financing the required conversion of agriculture. This is why he finds it incomprehensible that Schmidt is against the reallocation demanded by the majority of federal states of EU finance for agriculture that would benefit environmental protection and animal welfare.
In the case of fruit and milk in schools, a 20% target would be a ground-breaking move, as it would in catering in kindergartens, schools and hospitals. Röhrig cites Copenhagen as evidence of how successful organic can be in canteens, with healthier menus that don't increase the costs. The Danish capital already has achieved nearly 90% organic in canteens in the public sector without incurring higher costs. He says organic has great potential in canteens in Germany too.