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Press Release

January 13, 2016

O p e n I n g R e p o r t Green Week 2016: Evergreen trade show celebrates its 90th anniversary

Trade fair for agriculture, the food industry and horticulture, with 1,660 exhibitors from 65 countries - In 2016 Morocco becomes the first non-European partner country - GFFA is the world’s leading agricultural policy conference

Berlin, 13 January 2016 – It has a long tradition, it is Berlin’s best attended trade show, and this year it celebrates a significant anniversary. 2016 marks the 90th year since the International Green Week Berlin (IGW) first took place. Starting life as a basic, local commodity exchange in its debut year of 1926, this evergreen trade show has evolved into the world’s leading exhibition for agriculture, the food industry and horticulture. No other major trade fair in Germany, attracting hundreds of thousands of consumers, has been held as many times as the Green Week. Between 15 and 24 January the 1,660 exhibitors from 65 countries will be presenting an overview of the global food industry. Covering an overall hall area of 118,000 square metres, the Green Week offers the largest range of regional specialities to be found at any trade show. This traditional trade fair also provides a unique display featuring agriculture and horticulture, with numerous attractive shows for the public. The organisers, Messe Berlin, are expecting more than 400,000 trade visitors and members of the public to attend during this ten day event.

Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH: “The Green Week brings worldwide agribusiness to Berlin. It is the leading meeting for international agricultural policymakers. For the past 90 years it has also been providing the public with a unique experience and an opportunity to sample food and beverages of all kinds. Like the city’s famous curried sausage, this evergreen trade show, the Green Week, is another long-established tradition in Berlin.”

The programme of conference events will focus on the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture 2016 (GFFA) which takes place from 14 to 16 January. Organised by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, it has established itself as the world's leading agricultural policy event. Under the heading of “How to feed our cities – agriculture and rural areas in the age of urbanisation“, around 70 ministers of agriculture, deputy ministers and high-ranking members of the food and farming industries will be discussing one of the most pressing issues concerning the future of the human race. In addition to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture with its traditional special show in Hall 23a, for the first time the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development will be organising its own special show in Hall 16, entitled ’A world without hunger is possible’.

The opening ceremonies of the 81st Green Week will take place on 14 January at 6 p.m. in the CityCube Berlin in the presence of H.R.H. Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco. This is the first time an African nation is the partner country of the Green Week. The Kingdom of Morocco will be presenting typical food items and luxury foods from all its local regions. The focus of the Moroccan displays in Hall 18 will be on the country’s different natural landscapes: the coast, the forests, the desert and the mountains. 55 exhibitors, collectives and organisations will be showcasing their local products and promising visitors an experience that will rival One Thousand and One Nights.

This year the Green Week is taking place for the 81st time. Since 1926 close to 85,000 exhibitors from 128 countries have presented their wide-ranging products from all over the world to over 32 million trade visitors and the general public. The International Green Week Berlin 2016 is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. Its non-commercial sponsors are the German Farmers’ Union (DBV) and the Federal Association of the German Food Industry (BVE). Speaking at the opening press conference which took place today the non-commercial sponsors of the Green Week gave their views on the current situation in the industry and the economic role of their respective sectors:

Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers’ Union (DBV):

“The International Green Week 2016 is taking place at a time when German agriculture and the country’s food industry are facing a very difficult economic situation. During the past year drastic falls in agricultural prices, especially for our pig and dairy farmers, have led to an average decline in incomes of around 35 per cent. One example that graphically illustrates this fact is that farmers retain just 12 cents from each sausage that they sell. The Russian embargo alone has cost some one billion euros, and this is one of the main reasons for the collapse in agricultural prices. Despite this current economic crisis our country’s agribusiness is being presented at the IGW as confident, highly competitive and efficient. With sales totalling some 433 billion euros it forms an important mainstay of our national economy. Measured in terms of sales, the food industry is the fourth largest in Germany, after the automobile industry, mechanical engineering and the chemical industry, and it ranks third as a provider of employment. Agriculture forms the basis for this sector, with a production value estimated at 53 billion euros in 2016. One in nine of the entire working population is employed in this country’s agricultural and food industries, which together account for 4.5 million jobs.

Christoph Minhoff, Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE): “In 2015 the German food industry recorded its worst results for four years, with falling sales prices and the pressure of international competition imposing additional burdens on this sector. Despite all this, food quality is at an all time high. This achievement by Germany’s third largest industrial sector, with a workforce of more than 550,000, should be acknowledged. The appreciation of foods could be improved by means of a realistic consumer policy and unbiased social education. We are not asking for subsidies, but for effective policies.”

Global food market – regional specialities

In 2016 the Green Week will again be inviting visitors to savour innumerable specialities from all over the world. Approximately two-thirds of the display area are occupied by exhibitors representing the food industry from Germany and abroad. This is the first time that Sierra Leone is taking part in the Green Week. This country from West Africa can be found in Hall 7.2b.

The following 29 countries will be represented by official national combined stands: Afghanistan (Hall 7.2c), Bulgaria (6.2a), Chile (8.2) China (6.2a), Estonia (8.2), Finland (8.2), France (11.2), Georgia (7.2c), Greece (6.2a), Italia (17), Kosovo (7.2c), Croatia (6.2a), Latvia (8.2), Lithuania (8.2), Morocco (18), Netherlands (18), Norway (8.2), Austria (15.1), Poland (11.2), Portugal (8.2), Romania (10.2), Switzerland (17), Sierra Leone (7.2b), Slovenia (8.2), Spain (8.2), Thailand (6.2a), Czech Republic (8.2), Hungary (10.2), Uzbekistan (6.2b).

In addition, importers and/or exporters will be representing the following 35 countries: Azerbaijan (1.2b), Egypt (11.2), Armenia (7.2c), Belarus (7.2b), Belgium (6.2a), Brazil (11.2), Cote d’Ivoire (7.2a), Denmark (7.2b), Dominican Republic (7.2b), UK (7.2b), India (6.2a), Iran (6.2b), Ireland (8.2), Japan (6.2a), Canada (7.2c), Kenya (7.2b), Colombia (7.2c), Cuba (11.2), Lebanon (6.2a), Luxembourg (7.2a), Madagascar (6.2b), Mongolia (7.2b), Nepal (7.2c), New Zealand (7.2b), Peru (7.2c), Rwanda (7.2a), Russian Federation (5.2a), Sweden (8.2), South Korea (6.2b), Syria (7.2b), Turkey (5.2a), Tunisia (7.2c), Ukraine (5.2a), USA (7.2a), Vietnam (6.2a).

All kinds of culinary experiences await visitors to the stands of the German federal States. Around 500 exhibitors will be hosting a vast display of authentic and local specialities. Thus the Green Week will be satisfying a current mega-consumer trend by offering a culinary tour of Germany’s local regions. 14 states will be exhibiting food products in settings that reflect the natural landscape, towns and villages of the local regions: Baden-Württemberg (Hall 5.2b), Bavaria (22b), Berlin (21b), Brandenburg (21a), Bremen (20), Hesse (22a), Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (5.2b), Lower Saxony (20), North Rhine-Westphalia (5.2a), Rhineland-Palatinate (2.2), Saxony (21b), Saxony-Anhalt (23b), Schleswig-Holstein (22a) and Thuringia (20).

Once again the German food industry’s two leading organisations, the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) and the Federation for Food Law and Food Science (BLL), extend an invitation to take part in the “Food Dialogue” (Hall 22a). The various Product Markets have plenty to interest gourmets and in fact anyone keen to discover new food and beverages. Other fascinating features include the Bio Hall (1.2b) with its slogan “More room for life”, the Seafood Market (14.1) and the Product Market “Herbs / Spices / Tea” (6.2b). The German Brewers’ Federation (12) is marking a very significant milestone at the IGW 2016: the 500th anniversary of the Purity Law. The Green Week 2016 is using a completely new concept for its presentation of German wines and sparkling wines. Under the heading of “Weinwerk”, Messe Berlin will be using the setting of the International Floral Hall (2.2) for a dedicated presentation by winemakers, featuring the entire scope of the wine industry. This display will also include contributions by tourism organisations and some regional products of outstanding quality.

Modern, sustainable agriculture

Visitors can find out about the many things the farming and food industries have to offer at the Farm Experience, a joint initiative of the German Farmers' Union and information.medien.agrar coordinated by the Organisation for the Promotion of Sustainable Agriculture. The Livestock Hall (Hall 25) will be showcasing German livestock. Exhibitions include the National Fleckvieh Cattle Display (15 to 17 Jan.), the Angus Cattle Display (19 and 20 Jan.) and the National Breeding Ram Display (22 and 23 Jan.). This is the first time that Barb horses will be going on show, and on 23 and 24 January visitors will be able to enjoy the fascinating and popular Indoor Driving Championships. The Society for the Preservation of Old-established and Endangered Breeds of Domesticated Animals (GEH) will be displaying Original Braunvieh (from alpine regions), Glan cattle (from highland regions) and German Black Pied cattle (from coastal areas and low-lying plains).

In 2016 the contribution by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Hall 23a is again among the most instructive and informative shows, and takes as its slogan “Fit for the future – with modern agriculture and a balanced diet.” This year Hall 4.2 combines four elements displaying specific aspects of rural areas: at “nature.tec – the bioeconomics show” a number of ministries, institutions, associations and companies are presenting the entire range of uses of agricultural and forestry materials for energy production and other useful purposes. In “Multitalented Wood” visitors can learn about the many uses for this renewable raw material. The exhibitors in the combined show “Keen on the country – working together for rural areas” will be presenting a lively look at country living. Suggested ways of spending one’s leisure time in natural surroundings will be provided by the German Hunting Association. And in Hall 26 the World of Pets presents some of the most popular and most exotic animals for the home.

A blooming miracle in the middle of January

The horticultural section of the Green Week features some outstanding floral arrangements. Visitors to the Floral Hall will be delighted by the display under the heading of “Carnival of Flowers”, with more than 35,000 early flowering plants. Now at a new location in Hall 2.2, this major attraction will present a wide range of plants in all the beauty and colour that are associated with carnivals all over the world. Taking a cue from the carnival in Venice, the colourful and aesthetically pleasing display in the centre of the hall will feature an area of water covering some 1,600 square metres, with 40 Venetian gondolas and 50 figures in carnival costumes based on floral themes. The Berlin Regional Gardening Enthusiasts’ Association is emphasising the importance of allotment gardens in the city as places for leisure and relaxation. Amateur gardeners will also find a wide range of plants for the house, terrace and garden, as well as all kinds of accessories from seeds to a complete pre-fabricated house. Using the slogan “Horticulture – naturally healthy”, the National Gardening Association ZVG will be providing interested visitors with details about seasonal and regional products that are both tasty and healthy.

Regional Star and Professional Centre

With the REGIONAL-STAR 2016 the publication LEBENSMITTEL PRAXIS and Messe Berlin are honouring sustainable regional concepts in the German food trade for the first time at the Green Week. Awards will be given to the best concepts of a regional nature from the trade, industry and agriculture, which are being used to promote the marketing of regional products, with the emphasis on sustainability. The awards ceremony will take place on 19 January at the Palais am Funkturm. For more details: email:

The Professional Center at Marshall-Haus is another new feature. From 18 to 22 January it will be open exclusively to registered trade visitors. In cooperation with LEBENSMITTEL PRAXIS and DEHOGA, it provides opportunities for food traders to find suitable manufacturers. For example, the Professional Centre gives buyers, traders, caterers and F&B managers direct access to regional specialities from the 14 federal states and officially represented national displays by some 30 countries, with opportunities to discover and sample new products.

Green Week young generation

Making school fun: an opportunity to handle giant Malaysian stick insects, grind one’s own wheat, or to find out what it is like to be a veterinary surgeon: over 20,000 schoolchildren from Berlin, Brandenburg and neighbouring federal states can use the Green Week for practical instruction. This is where school classes of all ages can acquire everyday knowledge about many aspects of agriculture, food and horticulture.


Information for visitors

Messe Berlin has opening times and ticket prices to suit every type of visitor, both for planned and spontaneous visits. The fair will open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Friday 22 and on the two Saturdays (16 and 23 Jan.) the Green Week will open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. A day ticket costs 14 euros, reduced-rate tickets for schoolchildren and students cost ten euros. Children under the age of six are admitted free of charge. From Monday to Friday a Happy Hour ticket (daily from 2 p.m.) costs ten euros, and a family ticket (maximum of 2 adults + 3 children aged up to 14) costs 29 euros. A Sunday ticket is valid on one Sunday only, either 17 or 24 Jan., and costs ten euros. These days are ideal for a family outing. A day ticket for groups of 20 or more costs 12 euros per person, and for parties of schoolchildren (school IDs required) the individual charge is four euros. Unlimited admission to the Green Week costs 42 euros.

Visitors arriving by car

From the A10 (Berliner Ring) take the A100, A111 or A115 to the Funkturm interchange (Autobahndreieck Funkturm). Look for the exit sign ‘Abfahrt Messedamm’. Parking is available at the Olympic Stadium. From here a free shuttle service will take you directly to the north entrance and the southern section of the grounds. The exhibition grounds and the ICC are located outside the Environment Zone. Car drivers arriving on the autobahn and heading directly to the exhibition grounds from the Messegelände/ Messedamm exits are outside the zone and therefore do not need to obtain the requisite windscreen sticker.

Visitors arriving by public transport

S-Bahn (light rail) S5 to Messe Süd; S5, S7 to Westkreuz; S41, S42, S46 to Messe Nord; U-Bahn (underground) U2 to Kaiserdamm or Theodor-Heuss-Platz; bus routes 104, 139, 349, M49, X34, X49 to Messedamm/ZOB (main bus station).

You can find general information about exhibitors and products at the Green Week at the website of the Virtual Market Place at

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