“We’re fed up”: Demo calls for ecological agricultural change

“Good food for everyone”, “Farms instead of agricultural industry”, “Soil for those who work on it”: In Berlin, at the beginning of the international agricultural fair Green Week several thousand people demonstrated for environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture. They moved from the Brandenburg Gate through the Berlin government district on Saturday. The alliance “We’ve had enough” called for the rally, which includes numerous organizations, including the environmental organizations BUND and Nabu, agricultural organizations such as AbL and Bioland, as well as Greenpeace, Misereor and Fridays for Future. The alliance spoke of around 10,000, the police of around 7,000 participants.

To kick off the demonstration, a convoy of almost 50 tractors drove to the Foreign Office in the city center. According to the organizers, a protest note with demands was handed over to Federal Minister of Agriculture Cem Özedemir (Greens). Among other things, the six-point plan calls for fair producer prices, good wages for everyone, an end to food waste and a fair distribution of social wealth. “We expect significantly more from Minister of Agriculture Özdemir and the federal government, that was not ambitious enough, too discouraged and too slow,” said alliance spokeswoman Inka Lange, looking ahead to a year of agricultural and food policy by the coalition of SPD, Greens and FDP.

Threat of the climate crisis

Lack of rain, dry soil and poor harvests show that the climate crisis is becoming more and more threatening, it said in the call for the demonstration. Growth logic and political mistakes are responsible for the overheating of the planet and a dramatic extinction of species. Hunger is growing worldwide, and in this country too, many people no longer know how to fill their refrigerators. Therefore, a socio-ecological transformation is necessary.

On the occasion of the demonstration, Diakonie Germany called for healthy nutrition for the poor too. Healthy food shouldn’t be a luxury, explained the evangelical social association. Social benefits and income must be high enough so that everyone can participate in a socio-ecological agricultural and food transition. However, people with little money are still involuntarily dependent on dumping prices and thus on unecologically and antisocially produced food. This harms them, the producers and the environment. The Diakonie therefore took part in the demonstration for the first time.

The Protestant Bishop of Berlin, Christian Stäblein, called on Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (RBB) to use food more consciously. Ecological and animal-friendly agriculture also requires awareness “that food and nutrition are not available at dumping prices,” said the bishop of the Evangelical Church in Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia.

The “We’re fed up” demonstration took place for the 13th time. The protests traditionally take place at the beginning of the Green Week, which claims to be the world’s largest agricultural fair. It has been open to visitors since Friday. Around 1400 exhibitors from agriculture and the food industry will be presenting their products in the Berlin exhibition halls until January 29th. At the same time, the industry meeting is an important place for political exchange about the future of agriculture.

At the 15th Berlin Agriculture Ministers’ Conference on Saturday, representatives from 70 countries pledged to promote more sustainable and crisis-proof food systems worldwide, as announced by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture. The final declaration also pledges to make food available, affordable and safe for everyone.

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