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Agriculture minister Aleksandra Pivec at the Green Week fair in Berlin

Berlin, 18 January 2019 – The Exhibition Grounds in Berlin opened its doors today to welcome the first visitors to the 84th International Green Week, the fair for food, agriculture and horticulture. Slovenia is participating at the fair, presenting its cuisine, beer, hop-growing, beekeeping and start-up companies. The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Aleksandra Pivec, visited the fair and received ministerial delegations from several countries at the Slovenian exhibition stand. Ms Pivec was a guest at the high-level panel organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), an event within the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), on the subject of digitalisation in agriculture. Today she also met with FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva and attended the meeting of ministers with Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, Aleksandra Pivec, started her visit in Berlin today by attending the opening day of the Green Week fair. At the Slovenian exhibition stand she held bilateral meetings with the ministers of the German Federal State of Saxony, Estonia, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary and Bhutan and with the representatives of the non-governmental organisation PeaceBread (FriedensBrot). Ms Pivec participated in the high-level panel organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) within the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA). As one of the five members of the panel the FAO chose from different world regions, she presented the views of Slovenia representing the European region. In her presentation Ms Pivec highlighted the experience with digitalisation in agriculture, particularly how it helps small and family farms in planning coordination, production monitoring and marketing. She presented the examples of good practices in Slovenia, as well as the challenges the country is facing in this area and would like to solve. Ms Pivec also emphasised the role of young farmers in the digitalisation process. Later Ms Pivec held a short meeting with FAO Director-General, José Graziano da Silva, who also attended the panel discussion. In the meeting she highlighted the importance of efforts to eliminate hunger in the world, in which World Bee Day also plays a significant role in relation to food production and ecosystem conservation. During today's activities at the fair, Ms Pivec attended the meeting of ministers with the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, where the main topic was the importance of digital technology in agriculture. The Chancellor of Germany and the Slovenian minister had a short meeting, during which Ms Merkel highlighted the role of women in leading political positions, as today marks 100 years since women were granted voting rights in Germany.


The Green Week (Grüne Woche) fair in Berlin will be open until Sunday, 27 January, and is expected to have many visitors. Slovenia is presented at the exhibition stand of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food, which is located in Hall 6.2. The main theme of the presentation is the Slovenian hop-growing and brewing industry. The aim is to present Slovenia to German visitors as a country with a long tradition of hop-growing and brewing. The exhibit was prepared by the Association of Slovene Brewers, the Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing and the Slovenian Hop Growers Association. Tasting excellent Slovenian beers is made easier by an innovative Slovenian product – the QuickTap fast beer dispensers. The guests of the exhibition stand can choose from 14 different beers: Vizir, Tektonik, Hopsbrew, Adam Ravbar, Maister, Ressel, Green Gold, Reservoir Dogs, Barut Brewing, Frizi Beer, Castra, and the beers of HumanFish Brewery and Pivovarna Laško Union. The Slovenian Institute of Hop Research and Brewing is also presenting its beer. 


With its selection of honey and honey products Čebelarstvo Šauperl reminds visitors that Slovenia is also a country of beekeeping. The Slovenian stand also includes the exhibits of three Slovenian start-up companies. Urban Planty has developed an innovative way of urban gardening and a vertical herb garden. They are showing visitors a solution for growing herbs at home. Spicy sauces and other products from the wide selection of Gorki chili attract visitors who like spicy food. One part of the Slovenian exhibition stand is dedicated to the unique mixtures of non-iodized salt and ground herbs made by Barba sol.


Many visitors who make a stop at the stand can also try Slovenian food and drinks from the diverse menu of the traditional “Slovenian inn”. There is also something for those who see Slovenia as an interesting tourist destination. A representative from the Slovenian Tourist Board (STO) is there to help them with advice and tourist brochures.


An important part of the Berlin fair is the Global Forum on Food and Agriculture. The political highlight will be tomorrow's 11th Agriculture Ministers’ Conference organised by the German Ministry of Agriculture. The topic of the ministers' discussion will be "Agriculture Goes Digital – Smart Solutions for Future Farming".