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Press Release

January 17, 2018

O p e n i n g R e p o r t - Green Week more international than ever

1,660 exhibitors from 66 countries with a display featuring agriculture, food and horticulture

Partner country Bulgaria presents the ‘Flavour of the Sun’ – Japan, Slovak Republic, Russia and Sweden return – Debut for exhibitors from Qatar

Over 70 agriculture ministers expected at the GFFA

The International Green Week Berlin (IGW) 2018 begins on Friday with the strongest international participation in its 92-year history. From 19 to 28 January the displays of 1,660 exhibitors from 66 countries will feature many aspects of agriculture, food and horticulture. The partner country of the Green Week 2018 is Bulgaria, which has been taking part in this trade fair for 30 years, and assumed the presidency of the Council of the EU on 1 January this year. Japan, the Slovak Republic, Russia and Sweden have returned to the event, while Qatar is presenting a selection of its foodstuffs for the first time this year. The best-attended of Berlin’s trade fairs, and the longest-established, it is taking place for the 83rd time, with a review of the global food industry as well as the largest range of regional specialities to be found at any trade fair. In addition, the special displays of farming and horticultural products provide a unique experience for the public. The high point of more than 300 supporting events will be the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), which over 70 agriculture ministers and leading representatives of the global agribusiness sector are expected to attend. All 116,000 square metres of the display halls at Berlin ExpoCenter City are rented out. Over the course of the ten-day event Messe Berlin expects attendance by trade visitors and the general public to reach around 400,000.

Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH: “The Green Week is a hit, and one that has featured in the trade fair charts for 92 years. With the largest number of official national displays, the most foreign exhibitors and the expected attendance by over 70 agriculture ministers, this year’s Green Week is more international than ever before. Once again, in 2018 the Green Week can rightly claim to be the world’s leading trade fair for international agribusiness. It is the most important event for agricultural policy and a genuine commercial success with the public.“

The opening ceremony of the 83rd Green Week will take place at 6 p.m. on 18 January at the CityCube Berlin. Bulgaria, the partner country, is responsible for the supporting programme and subsequent reception for some 3,600 invited guests from 100 countries. Under the slogan of ‘Flavour of the Sun’, visitors to the Green Week can acquaint themselves with Bulgaria’s food, culture and lifestyle in Hall 10.2.

The International Green Week Berlin 2018 is organised by Messe Berlin GmbH. Its non-commercial sponsors are the German Farmers’ Union (DBV) and the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE). The sponsoring organisations have stated their views on the current situation in the industry at today’s opening press conference as follows:

Joachim Rukwied, President of the German Farmers’ Union (DBV): “Following the crises of 2015/16, German agriculture experienced an economic recovery in 2017. Our farmers took advantage of this recovery phase firstly to develop their capital resources and secondly to invest once again in innovations. Digitalisation presents an opportunity to introduce and implement new developments and improvements in environmental protection and animal welfare. In recent years the success of the Animal Welfare Initiative alone has led to lasting improvements in the conditions under which pigs and poultry are kept in a number of important criteria. In 2018 some 23 per cent of pigs will be fattened in accordance with the Animal Welfare Initiative. The new Fertiliser Regulation has led to changes in cultivation that provide the basis for an application of nitrogen fertiliser and liquid manure that is more appropriate for specific locations. In the field of climate protection our farmers themselves, through innovation and improved efficiency, are undertaking to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions by 25 to 30 per cent by 2025 and 2030 compared with 1990 levels. The continuing expansion of renewable energy, biomass and bio-energy is also having a positive impact on the climate in accordance with the objectives of international climate protection agreements. Politics in Germany and the EU must adopt the right course in order to achieve this objective. Agricultural markets are showing signs of weakness in 2018. Producers’ prices for important products, especially pork, milk and grain, are again coming under pressure. It is essential that prices remain stable, particularly in view of the continuing tensions affecting the economic situation.“

Christoph Minhoff, Chairman of the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE): “The food industry expects sales to have set new records in 2017: according to initial estimates sales have risen by 5.7 per cent to 181 billion euros. The substantial growth of the domestic market, by 5.1 per cent, has even been exceeded by exports which continued to be the driving force for the industry in 2017. Overall food exports increased by 6.9 per cent to 60.4 billion euros. Employing almost 600,000 people in some 6,000 businesses, the food sector is the third largest industry in Germany, supplying 82 million consumers with good quality food at reasonable prices. There is an appreciation of our products in other countries too, as demonstrated by the export ratio of 33 per cent. Germany needs a government that is stable and able to act in order to safeguard the opportunities for growth. Companies in the food industry require a market environment that is commensurate with the industry’s requirements, and one that promotes planning security, economic efficiency and sustainability. An increasing number of companies with innovative ideas are venturing onto the market. We are currently seeing a market in transition, and politics should do everything to encourage this potential. The food industry provides incomes and prosperity in rural areas, and politics should acknowledge this fact,” according to the chief executive of the BVE, Christoph Minhoff.

Federal government demonstrates its commitment

At the beginning of the Green Week 2018 (18 – 20 Jan.), under the heading of ’Shaping the Future of Livestock – sustainably, responsibly, efficiently', the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) will be hosting the 10th Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). This is the 44th time that the BMEL will be inviting visitors to a special show in Hall 23a. This year’s slogan is ‘Agriculture is at the heart of society'. The focus is on a modern and sustainable farming and fishing industry, rural areas as a place to live and work in, and knowledge about food and intelligent consumption.

In Hall 5.2a the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will be showing that people's daily shopping habits can help to combat hunger. Together with over 20 partners including Welthungerhilfe, the WWF, Fairtrade, Brot für die Welt, Misereor, other organisations and companies which have pledged their support, the BMZ will be placing the spotlight on ‘cocoa’ and ‘cotton’.

New food trends on offer

Insect burgers, cold brew coffee from a can, or acai lemonade - superfoods, alternative sources of protein and innovative formulas: today’s trends offer a foretaste of tomorrow’s foods. An idea of what the future will taste like can be found on the stand jointly operated by the Federation for Food Law and Food Science (BLL) and the Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) in Hall 22a. What is currently the fashion in street food can be found in Hall 12, with examples such as Bavarian tapas with white sausage pralines, crazy chips on a stick and stuffed bubble waffle creations.

The demand for organically produced food remains unabated. This consumer trend will be reflected in Hall 1.2, the Bio Hall, under the slogan ‘Organic – more room for life’. This is where visitors to the Green Week can learn how organic foodstuffs are produced, and what agriculture will look like in the future. The Fish Information Centre (FIZ) from Hamburg is presenting a wide selection of fish, seafood and seaweed, from arapaima to zander. Details are provided by experts on the kind of fish, shrimps and molluscs that are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iodine, vitamins and minerals, and that can be consumed with a clear conscience. In Hall 3.2 the Farm Experience will also be exhibiting the most diverse food trends such as superfoods, clean eating, gluten-free or a ‘meat diet with extra steak’.

A wide range of products at the Green Week

Before purchasing, it is important for consumers to know where their food comes from, and regional products are high on their priority list. Specialities from all parts of the world as well as regional and luxury foodstuffs will occupy around two-thirds of the display area at the Green Week 2018.

The following 31 countries will be represented officially with combined national displays: Austria (Hall 15.1), Azerbaijan (18), Bulgaria (10.2), Croatia (18), Czech Republic (8.2), Denmark (8.2), Estonia (8.2), Finland (8.2), France (11.2), Georgia (7.2c), Hungary (11.2), Italy (17), Japan (8.2), Kazachstan (16), Latvia (8.2), Liechtenstein (17), Lithuania (8.2), Morocco (18), Netherlands (18), Norway (8.2), Poland (11.2), Portugal (7.2c), Qatar (1.2a), Romania (18), Russian Federation (6.2a), Slovak Republic (18), Slovenia (18), Sweden (8.2), Switzerland (17), Thailand (6.2a), Uzbekistan (6.2b).

In addition, importers and/or exporters will be representing the following 34 countries: Algeria (Hall 7.2b), Armenia (7.2c), Belarus (6.2b), Belgium (6.2a), Brazil (6.2a), Canada (7.2c), Colombia (7.2b), Cote d'Ivoire (6.2 b), Cuba (7.2a), India (6.2a), Iran (6.2b), Ireland (7.2c), Jordan (12), Kenya (7.2b), Lebanon (6.2a), Luxembourg (7.2a), Madagascar (12), Mongolia (6.2b), Nepal (7.2c), New Zealand (7.2b), Peru (6.2a), Rwanda (12), Senegal (7.2c), Serbia (6.2b), South Africa (6.2a), South Korea (12), Spain (18), Sri Lanka (7.2b), Tunisia (7.2b), Turkey (7.2c), UK (1.2a), Ukraine (7.2a), USA (7.2b), Vietnam (7.2b).

Germany’s regions, from the coast to the Alps, will be displaying their foodstuffs and luxury foods on the combined stands of the federal states: Baden-Württemberg (Hall 5.2b), Bavaria (22b), Berlin (21b), Brandenburg (21a), Hesse (22a), Mecklenburg-West Pomerania (5.2b), Lower Saxony (20), North Rhine-Westphalia (5.2a), Rhineland-Palatinate (2.2b), Saxony (21b), Saxony-Anhalt (23b), Schleswig-Holstein (22a), and Thuringia (20). Once again the WEINWERK, an exclusive platform for German winegrowers, will be located in the direct vicinity of the Floral Hall (2.2) and the displays of Rhineland-Palatinate.

Experience agriculture live and multimedially

Farmer – consumer – industry/trade: modern agriculture revolves around these three things. For the first time they will be brought together in a convincing way in a presentation aimed at visitors to the Farm Experience in Hall 3.2. This has been organised by the Modern Agriculture Forum (FORUM) and some 60 partners from the agricultural sector. A themed area is being set up in the centre of the hall, acquainting visitors with various aspects of such subjects as livestock husbandry, plant protection and high-tech agriculture. Among the ways that this is being done is augmented reality – the computer-controlled expansion of sensory perception.

Hall 4.2 is devoted entirely to rural areas. Here the exhibitors will be inspiring visitors to become Keen on the Country and will be presenting their ideas for making villages and regions places that are really worth living in. With their initiatives and projects they are bringing rural development alive. The German Hunters’ Association will be presenting the many facets of hunting, and also providing details about how to avoid collisions with animals. Here visitors will find a discovery trail in a realistic natural biotope with live birds of prey, hunting dogs and a programme for children and pupils. The show entitled ‘Renewable Raw Materials’ features some surprising products such as ball pens and Porsche bodywork made using raw materials obtained from plants. Sustainably managed woodlands are the subject of Multitalented Wood. The German forestry industry will be focusing on nature conservation and the environmental role of woodlands, which are a source of timber and also of foodstuffs.

Hall 25 is the Livestock Hall, which this year is dominated by horses, because HIPPOLOGICA, Berlin’s biggest indoor equestrian event, has been incorporated into the Green Week, and will be taking place from 25 to 28 January. Thus, the Green Week will be continuing the tradition of a riding and jumping tournament which had its origins decades ago. The HIPPOLOGICA 2018 tournament programme features four equestrian sport disciplines, including the Heavy Category: from jumping and dressage to vaulting and driving. Activities will begin in the Livestock Hall with the three-day ARENA Polo Masters (19-21 January). In this polo tournament teams of two players each will be competing in the main show ring. In 2018 the Altwürttemberger horse is featured as a breed that is severely at risk, as the ‘Endangered Domestic Breed of the Year’. With its all-round capabilities the Altwürttemberger is ideal as a reliable carriage horse, and its equable nature makes is suitable for therapeutic purposes too. These horses are also used for vaulting and tournaments up to Class L. In addition, the open design of this section of Hall 25, with many agricultural animals, will make it a popular attraction for breeders and the public alike.

There will be plenty of activity in Hall 1.2a as well, with domestic animals and pets, in fact everything from alpacas to ornamental fish. Various associations will be presenting popular and also rarer pets in aquariums, terrariums, aviaries and pens. Elegant pedigree cats will be on display as well as iridescent sea creatures, and even stick insects, praying mantises and hairy bird-eating spiders can be seen at close quarters in their terrariums. There will also be rodents, bearded dragons and snakes, in fact, something for everyone.

In bloom in all their glory in January

Hall 2.2, the Floral Hall, is where visitors can see plants in bloom in all their glory, in the middle of January. The Landgard Initiative ‘Flowers – 1000 good reasons’ is responsible for designing this area under the slogan ‘Source of Diversity’ with numerous spring-flowering plants, creative floral arrangements and lots of opportunities for young and old alike to get involved, as well as workshops and innovative approaches for making today’s cities greener. Flowers and plants as a source of diversity, with themed areas devoted to the subjects of love, life, beauty, enjoyment, economy and creativity, represent a completely new conceptual approach for the Floral Hall.

German horticulture represents diversity, emotion and health. This wide range will be presented by the National Horticultural Association (ZVG) and will include displays showing how tomatoes are grown under glass in Germany, pests and beneficial creatures in the field of biological plant protection, and a campaign for the next generation entitled ‘Gardeners. Growing for the future’. Allotment gardeners from Berlin, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony will be promoting the benefits for the climate of urban allotment gardens, with plants that encourage insects, along with a naturalistic garden pond and a small solar array on the shed roof. A typical plot, measuring 250 square metres, will be decorated with thriving ornamental plants and different varieties of vegetables which are all suitable for mixed cultivation. The Mitte District Schools Environmental Centre / Gardening School will also be contributing to this exhibit. Rounding off the display by the allotment gardeners will be an entertaining and informative programme on the stage, presented by radioBERLIN 88,8.

Professional Center expands its range of services for trade visitors

At Green Week 2018 Messe Berlin is expanding its range of business-oriented services for trade visitors. Away from the bustle of the fair the place to head from 22 to 26 January will be the Professional Center at the Marshall Haus. This is where buyers, retailers, caterers and F&B managers can obtain a concise overview of the regional specialities displayed on the stands of national and international exhibitors at the Green Week. It will also provide representatives of the retail food sector, the food industry and catering trade with a relaxed atmosphere for expert talks and an opportunity to find out more about innovations and obtain information on the five days of Professional Day events.

On 24 January, taking place there for the first time, the Green Week Startup Day will be mainly targeting food retail representatives. Selected food sector startups will be able to present their company and products. Besides delivering a brief pitch to the jury they will also be available for questions. You can find information on the Professional Center and events for trade visitors at

This is the third year that the publication LEBENSMITTEL PRAXIS and the International Green Week Berlin are looking for the most convincing concepts for sustainable regional products from the retail trade, the industry and the farming sector. The presentation of the REGIONAL STAR ’18 award will take place on 23 January at the Palais am Funkturm.

Green Week young generation

Animals awakening each morning in the Livestock Hall, special recipes for remarkable green drinks or gardening in space: these are just some of the highlights of the Schools Programme at the Green Week 2018, where organisations, institutions and associations will be extending an invitation to obtain some practical instruction in the exhibition halls. For example, schoolchildren can start the day on the right foot with a farm breakfast in the Bio Hall. The Berlin Gardening Schools’ stand will be explaining whether the oxygen produced by our plants will be sufficient in future for all living creatures on this earth. At the Farm Experience pupils can learn all about the work of pollination carried out by bees. Online registration is required for most of the items featured in this programme. Email: Full programme details can be found at

Important information for visitors

Messe Berlin has opening times and ticket prices to suit all visitors, both for planned and spontaneous visits. The fair is open to trade visitors and the general public from 19 to 28 January 2018. Opening times are daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on ’Long Friday’ (26 Jan.). Day tickets cost 15 euros. Children under the age of six are admitted free of charge. Reduced rates are available for pupils and students, at a cost of ten euros, and only five euros on the Sundays of the event (21 and 28 Jan.). 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 31 euros. A Sunday Ticket (valid on either 21 or 28 January) costs ten euros. The Sundays 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. Full details of how to order tickets online can be found at

How to get there by car: From the A10 (Berliner Ring) take the A100, A111 or A115 to the interchange signposted ‘Funkturm’. Look for the exit sign ‘Messedamm’. Parking is available at the Olympic Stadium. From here a free shuttle service will take you directly to the north and south entrances of the exhibition grounds. Parking for the disabled can be found in the parking areas in front of the north entrance (P1, P2) and in front of the CityCube Berlin (P14). The exhibition grounds and the ICC are located outside the city’s Environmental Zone / ‘Umweltzone’. Car drivers arriving on the motorway (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.

By public transport: S-Bahn (light rail) lines S3, S9 to Messe Süd; S-Bahn lines S3, S5, S7, S9 to Westkreuz; S-Bahn lines S41, S42, S46 to Messe Nord; U-Bahn (underground) U2 to Kaiserdamm or Theodor-Heuss-Platz; bus routes 104, 139, 349, M49 to Messedamm/ZOB (main bus station), and bus routes X34, X49 to Theodor-Heuss-Platz or Messe Nord / ICC.

Additional information, for example about online ticket purchases, low-cost trips to Berlin and overnight accommodation, is available on the internet at The Virtual Market Place has everything you need to know about exhibitors and products at the Green Week.

Follow us on Twitter at and visit the Green Week on Facebook at Write your comments using the official Green Week hashtag: #IGW2018.

About the Green Week:

The International Green Week is Berlin’s longest-established and best-attended trade fair and one of Germany’s best-known events. It can look back on a history spanning 92 years and in 2018 it will open for the 83rd time. No other international exhibition attracting hundreds of thousands of consumers every year has taken place as many times as the Green Week. Originally just a local product mart, it has grown into the world’s largest consumer show for agriculture, food and horticulture. Since 1926 more than 88,000 exhibitors from 129 countries have presented their wide-ranging products from all over the world to 32.9 million trade visitors and the general public.