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Naturland

The work done by Naturland, its sustainability goals and prospects of future co-operation

chinesische delegation 350The chinese delegation visiting Naturland in Gräfelfing On 5th July, 2017, a Chinese delegation from the province of Guizhou paid a visit to the Naturland head offices in Gräfelfing, Germany. The group was travelling to Frankfurt and Munich as part of a two-week further training programme organised by CETC, the China Education & Training Center.  The objective of the scheme was to explain the agricultural structures in Germany and its agricultural associations and co-operatives to the delegation.

Most of the participants are active in the fields of poverty alleviation and development aid where they work for the Poverty Alleviation and Development Office of Guizhou Province. Guizhou is an inland Chinese province in the mountainous south, in the foothills of the Himalaya mountain range. The province is half the size of Germany and its population is also about half that of Germany. The province is one of the economically most underdeveloped regions in China. Several million people live below the official poverty line. Many of these are members of national minorities which, at 30%, make up a large proportion of the inhabitants of this province. Thanks to its mild climate, agriculture is well developed in Guizhou. The main crops are rice, maize, potatoes, tobacco and sugar cane. The province produces a great variety of medicinal herbs and is one of the four major production areas of medicinal herbs in China.

At the start of the meeting Bärbel Sagi (Department of international public relations) and Julia Huber who handles agricultural policy first gave details of the work done by the Naturland Association. The talks of these two speakers spanned Naturland’s history from the early days onwards, from the certification of products, to the development of the Naturland social standards and the Naturland Fair label, and culminating in today’s global network.  A further topic of the talks was the contribution organic agriculture is making towards achieving the targets of Agenda 2030.

Upon conclusion of the talks the Chinese delegation had an opportunity to ask questions of Steffen Reese, the general manager of Naturland, who first of all gave an introductory talk on the German-Sino Agricultural Center DCZ, a joint initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China (MOA), as well as information on Naturland activities in China. After a lively discussion, both guests and hosts agreed that they saw a great deal of joint potential for future co-operation.