【DE】STADTLANDBIO 2022: Reduce CO2 emissions with a sustainable agriculture and food industry

About a third of all greenhouse gases in Germany come from agriculture and food. Year after year, it becomes clearer that agriculture in particular is particularly affected by the consequences of climate change, such as persistent heat and drought. At the same time, however, it is often underestimated that the way our food is produced can also serve as an important lever for more climate protection. This applies not only to federal and nationwide, but also at the municipal level. At the STADTLANDBIO congress on the 27th and 28th July 2022 – on site and digitally – therefore this time everything revolved around the question of how cities, municipalities and counties can reduce their CO2 emissions with a sustainable agriculture and food industry. More than 80 participants from politics, administration, science, companies, farms and associations discussed this on the two congress days parallel to BIOFACH, the world’s leading trade fair for organic food, under the motto: “Bio.Essen.Agriculture – Opportunities for municipal climate protection.”

 

 

 

Photo: © NürnbergMesse / Uwe Niklas

 

 

The congress has brought together actors from different areas around the topic of municipal climate protection and opened up opportunities so that everyone could be heard. Especially with young start-ups, you can see that they are looking for and need this direct exchange,” says Nina Faiß, regional manager organic model region Hohenlohe.

 

Climate-friendly consumption is becoming increasingly important for consumers. In order for more movement at the municipal level, it is important to network those responsible with congresses such as STADATLANDBIO. Fortunately, this has been personally possible for the first time since Corona this year and thus also offered room for informal discussions,” confirms Uwe Zwick, Wirtschaftsförderung Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn.

 

There is great climate protection potential in the field

The contributions and workshops of the congress proved once again that there are no easy answers to complex problems such as the climate crisis. By refraining from pesticides and artificial fertilizers, organic farming is more climate-friendly on the area, but the effect is mitigated at product level by the lower yields. However, organic also scores with common good and environmental services such as water protection and the promotion of biodiversity – which makes it clear that it is too short to look at climate effects in isolation. Municipalities can actively protect the climate in agriculture, for example by protecting moors, implementing agroforestry systems and building humus. Especially with regard to the topics of agroforestry and humus reconstruction, there are already some good practical examples, but science also has to deal with it even more, said Dr. Werner Ebert from the biometropolis of Nuremberg. Joachim Böttcher, Chairman of the Board of the Lifespace Foundation, also emphasizes the importance of soil for the climate: “Soil protection is climate protection – but we do not have much time left to transform agriculture. Therefore, we should not only focus on organic farms, but also take conventional farmers on board.”

 

Fewer animal products in communal catering

However, municipal climate protection potential lies not only in the field, but also in the communal catering of daycare centers, schools and canteens. Interest in climate-friendly nutrition has increased significantly. At the congress, I have now learned about some canteens – for example in Berlin, Munich or Osnabrück – who are real pioneers here. That inspires!” explains Ursula Trentinaglia, agricultural ambassador, course instructor, consultant and housekeeping manager.

 

Although there are now many calculation models with the help of which the climate balance of individual foods and food can be determined, the basic formula for more climate protection on the plate is very simple: offer fewer animal and more plant products – and throw away less. In order to enforce this, good role models and more educational offers are needed: for cooks for climate-friendly cooking as well as for children and adolescents, so that they understand the effects of their diet. But “in many schools and kindergartens, nutrition education is not yet a mandatory program, but only happens when individual personalities are committed to it,” says Tina Andres, CEO BÖLW.

 

Efficiently exploit regional potential

It goes without saying that regional food is better for the climate due to shorter transport routes. However, in order for this positive effect not to literally evaporate, efficient regional logistics is required. In cities, urban agriculture can relatively easily fall back on existing logistical structures. In the countryside, however, the situation is often very different. Congress showed that although there are already some cooperatives and initiatives here, they are still in their infancy in many places. In order to reduce empty runs and a lack of utilization, it is important to learn from the large logistics companies – because efficiency is their strength. However, an investigation at the youth hostels in Bavaria has shown that transport has only a relatively small proportion of the greenhouse gas balance in food. What is more decisive is how production is made.

 

“The congress has once again emphasized that voluntary commitment alone is not enough when it comes to climate protection in the field. Municipalities should already make demands for more humus construction when leasing the land,” sums up Franziska Distler, Nuremberg Eco-Model Region, Department of Environment and Health.

 

And so was also this year an important conclusion of the STADTLANDBIO congress: the more organic, the better – for municipalities, states, the federal government and beyond.

 

In Focus 2023: Sovereign.Regional.Organic

STADTLANDBIO will take place next time on the 15th and 16th. February 2023 on the subject of “Sovereign. Regional. Bio. – How municipalities can make agriculture and food crisis-proof.” In view of rising food prices and supply bottlenecks as well as an increasingly complex assurance of supply. With food, the congress focuses on food security and food sovereignty. Questions are answered how important organic and regionality are, as well as what cities, municipalities and counties can contribute to ensuring the supply of high-quality food in the short and long term without being too dependent on political and global market risks. Registration for the congress and the detailed program will be available from autumn at www.stadtlandbio.de.

 

Votes of the participants in the STADTLANDBIO 2022 congress at a glance

 

The congress has brought together actors from different areas around the topic of municipal climate protection and opened up opportunities so that everyone could be heard. Especially with young start-ups, you can see that they are looking for and need this direct exchange.”

 

Nina Faiß, Regional Manager Bio-Model Region Hohenlohe

 

Climate-friendly consumption is becoming increasingly important for consumers. In order for more movement at the municipal level, it is important to network those responsible with congresses such as STADTLANDBIO. Fortunately, this has been personally possible for the first time since Corona this year and thus also offered room for informal discussions.”

 

Uwe Zwick, Economic Development Agency Höhenkirchen-Siegertsbrunn

 

“Soil protection is climate protection – but we don’t have much time left to transform agriculture. Therefore, we should not only focus on organic farms, but also take conventional farmers on board.”

 

Joachim Böttcher, Chairman of the Board of the Lebensraum Foundation

 

Interest in climate-friendly nutrition has increased significantly. At the congress, I have now learned about some canteens – for example in Berlin, Munich or Osnabrück – who are real pioneers here. That inspires!”

 

Ursula Trentinaglia, agricultural ambassador, course instructor, consultant, housekeeping manager

 

“In many schools and kindergartens, nutrition education is not yet a mandatory program, but only happens when individual personalities are committed to it.”

 

Tina Andres, Chairman of the Board BÖLW

 

“The congress has once again emphasized that voluntary commitment alone is not enough when it comes to climate protection in the field. Municipalities should already make demands for more humus construction when leasing the land.”

 

Franziska Distler, Nuremberg Eco-Model Region, Department of Environment and Health

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