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Press Release

December 20, 2017

“A world without hunger is possible“ - Focus on fair trade and production at the displays of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

At the International Green Week Berlin 2018 (19 – 28 Jan.) the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will be showing that people’s everyday purchases can help to combat hunger. Around the globe more than 800 million people are starving and two billion people are undernourished.

Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller: “Our slogan is ’Fair trade and production – a world without hunger is possible’. Taking cocoa as an example, we are able to show its path from the plantation to the chocolate we buy in the shops. Fair prices can ensure that people need not go hungry, children need not work and forests need not be chopped down. It is in our power to help with the way we shop.”

Together with over 20 partners including Welthungerhilfe, the WWF, Fairtrade, Brot für die Welt, Misereor and other organisations, as well as companies which have pledged their support, the BMZ will be presenting its programme in Hall 5.2 at the world’s largest exhibition of food products. Taking cocoa and cotton as an example, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will demonstrate that the consumer habit of buying the cheapest possible product seldom benefits farmers.

By focusing on cocoa, the BMZ will be placing the spotlight on the nation’s favourite sweet product. Germany is the world’s leading exporter of chocolate. However, for every bar of chocolate sold local cocoa farmers earn only a few cents, which is rarely enough for them to survive on. Germany’s federal government has launched the Sustainable Cocoa Forum which has set itself an ambitious target, namely for German supermarkets to sell fair trade cocoa products only. Visitors to the hall featuring the ministry’s displays can find out more there.

Visitors of all ages will be able to experience cocoa with all the senses: for instance, they can find out what a cocoa fruit looks like and how it tastes, how traditionally a wooden vice is used to open cocoa beans, what the difficulties are when harvesting and how, finally, chocolate is made. Chocolate producers from Africa will be telling their story and a sculptor from the Ivory Coast will be creating figures from chocolate. A ‘chocolate fountain’ will show just how good fair trade chocolate tastes.

The story of cotton will take visitors on a journey from a genuine cotton field to women weaving and sewing cotton, and on to the finished product, T-shirts. Thus, the federal ministry will be highlighting how hard work can produce a fair wage, and pointing out the product seals that consumers need to look out for in the shops. For visitors, attractions will include daily cooking shows, coffee tasting ceremonies with fair trade products, a quiz and lots of music from Africa and around the world.

Additional information:

Markus Berger, Press Spokesman, Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung

Tel. +49 30 18 535 2452, email: Markus.Berger@bmz.bund.de