Hamburg’s senate agreed Tuesday (February 21) on more efforts to promote organic food production and issued a print version of “Hamburgs Landwirtschaft stärken – Hamburger Öko-Aktionsplan 2020“ (Strengthening Hamburg’s Agriculture – Hamburg’s Ecological Event Plan 2020). The move comes amid growing consumer demand for organic products. This indicates steady growth for production companies and especially regional produce over the next years. Consumers are also demanding greater transparency about the sources of food and means of production. Producers of organic food, experts in the sector and consumers are all expected to attend the upcoming hamburg.bio in the Chamber of Commerce Hamburg from February 24-26, 2017.
Promoting organic offers on a regional scale should open up possibilities for developing Hamburg’s agricultural companies in future. The senate’s package of co-ordinated measures aims to boost the competitiveness of companies and to secure Hamburg as a place of diverse and sustainable agricultural production, for instance, by increasing the share of land for organic farming. The plan outlines completed projects and others currently being implemented.
Already established measures include increased area payments for ecological farming and for farms switching to ecological farming or farms that are trying to enhance their production. Investment support for Hamburg has also been set up and marketing organic produce has been prioritised. Dr. Rolf Bösinger, State Councillor at the Authority for Economics, Traffic and Innovation, said: “Organic farming has great potential for growth. The means of support are diverse and range from financial support, excellent advice, sales promotion, research projects right up to exemplary management.”
Model region for organic fruit
Part of the ecological event plan foresees setting up a model region for organic fruits. To this end, Hamburg is working with the Lower Saxony Chamber of Agriculture and the Ministry of Agriculture in Hanover and is offering financial support. A new concept for the test operation of the ESTEBURG Fruit Research Centre has received one-off funds on EUR 350,000. Some EUR 40,000 in funds have been set aside for practical-related research for organic fruit growing and EUR 210,000 a new advisory service for growing organic fruit in Hamburg.
Member of organic city network
Last December, Hamburg joined the German network of organic cities. Since 2010, cities in the network have been co-operating to promote ecological farming and products. The focus is on exchanging experiences, conducting joint projects, obtaining funding, hosting public events to give their objectives greater political clout.