The Berlin Spectator
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Berlin: Digital Green Week Food Trade Fair Commences Today

The Green Week trade fair for agricultural products, gardening and food is on today and tomorrow. Because of Corona, it will be a digital event. Tasting delicious specialties should be difficult.

In the past decades, going to the Green Week trade fair meant to have a taste of delicious treats from all over the world. The experienced visitor would go there with an empty stomach and leave with a full one. Chocolate, cookies, veggies, fruit, salads, soups, sauces, meat, dough and milk products and all of it would be available. There used to be truckloads of wine visitors would pour down their throats.

Chinese Dumplings

Since the Green Week is purely digital this year, for obvious reasons, tasting delicious little treats is a mission impossible. They will not present live farm animals at Berlin’s fairgrounds, there is no squeezing through the crowds with a plate of Chinese dumplings in one hand and a glass of Austrian apple juice in the other.

Last year’s Green Week was very different.

It is the 95th addition of the Green Week, one of the most important trade fairs of its kind. The organizers are promising “an extensive program” about questions in the areas of food economics and agriculture, and several highlights. For instance, the ‘Global Forum for Food and Agriculture’ asks an important question: “How do we feed the world in times of pandemics and climate change?”

Work and Participation

There also is a ‘Future Forum on Rural Development’. It is about “new forms of work and participation” and is supposed to “provide a virtual platform for dialogue, discussion and exchanging knowledge.” At the ‘IGW Startup-Days’ “the search will be on for agri-tech and food-tech startups with scalable and market-ready products able to meet UN sustainability targets.” And the ‘Regional-Star Award’ puts sustainability into its main focus.

What all of this shows is that the digital Corona times version of the Green Week is for food and agriculture industry representatives. Laymen who just want to consume delicious food will probably not care too much. Instead, they might just prepare Spaghetti Bolognese at home.

Dialogue and Information

For Messe Berlin GmbH, the organizer, its Executive Officer Martin Ecknig said the International Green Week would have liked to welcome 400,000 visitors to the exhibition grounds again. “Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, that is not possible. Yet people still want to exchange ideas. With IGW Digital we have created a platform for dialogue and information that caters to the trade and general public.”

No, digital platforms do not fill any stomachs, but they are the only thing the Green Week can come up with this year. Bon appétit.

The English version of the Green Week’s website can be accessed here.