Advocates of ecological, small-scale farming at their rally in Berlin on Saturday carried banners declaring themselves “fed up,” while German Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner hosted 80 politicians with agriculture-related portfolios at an international summit on the trade fair site.
Hubert Weiger, the head of BUND, the German branch of Friends of the Earth, told an estimated 25,000 people at the protest rally near the chancellery that the “Green Week” exhibition – just kilometers away – amounted to consumer deception.
“The pleasant appearance of the trade fair displays hides million-fold suffering of animals, an exorbitant usage of antibiotics for fattening animals, and an enormous environmental strain from mass livestock production,” said Weiger.
He demanded that the German government provide incentives for dwindling family-size farms instead of “farm factories” that, he said, failed to focus on the welfare of animals, farmers and the environment.
Protestors also highlighted the impact of “price dumping” on the world’s small-scale farmers and recent trends such as dramatic declines in bee populations.