Minister O’Connor emphasises the need for sustainability and importance of cooperation in global food production at Green Week.

New Zealand Minister of Agriculture Damien O’Connor travelled to Berlin from 18-21 January to take part in the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture, which was hosted by the German Government during International Green Week.

The Minister chaired a ministerial break-out session on “Resources, Climate Change, Environment” during the Global Forum, and spoke on two panels about the need for sustainability in future livestock production. He highlighted in particular the global challenge to produce more food with lower emissions intensity, noting that this would require heightened research and innovation but would be vital to meeting rapidly increasing food demands worldwide.
 
While in Berlin, Minister O’Connor took the opportunity to meet with a number of our partners from Europe and the rest of the world, including his counterparts from Germany, France, Lithuania, Sweden, the Netherlands and Poland, as well as from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Australia. He also met with the EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety and the President of the European farmers’ organisation COPA.
 
Minister O’Connor noted the mutual benefits of increased agricultural cooperation between New Zealand and Europe. “Rural communities across the world are often the life-blood of our societies and heritage. New Zealand is confident that an FTA between our country and the EU will provide opportunities for farmers in both Europe and New Zealand and facilitate greater agricultural cooperation, benefiting rural communities on both sides.”
 
Amongst the busy programme, the Minister and Ambassador Rupert Holborow were also able to enjoy some of the sights that Green Week had to offer.