Hamburg, 2 September 2021. The Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. (VdG) (Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange) formulates four recommendations to the future German government on the occasion of the federal elections in 2021: International agricultural trade should be strengthened and high-yield regions should be leveraged. Innovations in agricultural production and trade should be enabled and promoted. New breeding techniques (NBT) would have to be clearly legally defined at EU level in order to create legal certainty for companies. The European supply chain law should be based on the standards of the supply chain due diligence law of the Federal Republic of Germany. The new German government should also advocate these goals at EU level.

1. The new German government should strengthen high-yield regions and international agricultural trade in order to secure Germany’s supply of diverse agricultural products and contribute to the global food supply.
For some months now, prices for cereals and oilseeds have been at a historically high level. To prevent this from becoming permanent and ultimately having an impact on consumer prices, sufficient production is needed. Agricultural products should therefore be produced primarily where resources are available in sufficient quantities and can be used efficiently. In many regions of Germany, the conditions for high and sustainable production are in place. The climate and soil favor the cultivation of many agricultural products, such as wheat, barley, rye or rapeseed, and technical expertise, skilled workers and infrastructure also contribute to good yields. Other products can be optimally produced in other regions of the world. International trade then creates a global balance between supply and demand. Both – high-yield regions and agricultural trade – must be leveraged and strengthened in a sustainable manner.

2. The new federal government should facilitate and promote innovations that make agriculture and multilateral trade even more efficient and thus help to ensure that sustainably produced, high-quality and affordable food is globally available to the world’s population.

In order for agriculture and the food value chain to meet increasing sustainability demands in the future, they need new technologies, digital systems, low-risk crop protection products or even New Breeding Technologies (NBT). The potential of such innovations must be harnessed by recognizing existing systems and creating appropriate legal regulations.

3. The new German government should advocate the clear legal definition of new breeding technologies (NBT) at EU level in order to create legal certainty for companies and to continue to allow imports from countries that already use NBT.
Not only do New Breeding Techniques, such as Genome Editing, offer potential in application that currently remains untapped, but outdated EU law also affects trade. For example, in the U.S., one of the world’s most important grain exporting countries, genome-edited plants without foreign genetic material are not subject to GMO regulation and are consequently not labeled. To date, it has also not been possible to identify in a generally valid way whether raw materials originate from genome-edited or conventionally bred plants. This poses major challenges for companies that trade or process raw materials internationally, which in turn are associated with a high degree of legal uncertainty. EU law must be modernized in such a way that importers gain legal certainty and Germany and the EU are fully connected to the world market.

4. The new German government should play a role in the drafting of a supply chain law at EU level and work to ensure that its standards are based on the German Supply Chain Due Diligence Act.
With its Supply Chain Due Diligence Act, the Federal Republic is a pioneer for legal regulations to strengthen human rights and environmental due diligence obligations in business activities. The aim is to create a level playing field and standards for all EU countries in order to ensure compliance with human rights and environmental standards in supply chains, an acceptable burden on companies and fair competition.

Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.

The Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V. (VdG) (Grain Traders Association of the Hamburg Stock Exchange) is the federal association of international wholesale and foreign trade in cereals, oilseeds, feeds and pulses and has been the official voice of the industry at the world trading center of Hamburg for over 150 years. It acts as a service provider for its members and also as a partner for administration, politics and business in Berlin, Bonn and Brussels.

Press contact:
Verein der Getreidehändler der Hamburger Börse e.V.
Anika Nicolaudius
Public relations
Adolphsplatz 1
20457 Hamburg / Germany
Tel: +49 (0) 40-369879-12

Picture: Claudio Schwarz / Unsplash