Agribusiness – agriculture driven by strictly commercial principles - is shaping the food production and supply not only in the European Union but also on the global market, leading to inequalities and degradation of the ecosystems. Through demand and supply, European agricultural production and consumption is having a strong impact on the Global Market. The German chicken exports to Western Africa and South American soybean import to the United Kingdom could be given as two of the most prominent examples. The increasing trade relations between countries are shaping the global market and development policy. Against this background, national and European agricultural, development and trade policy, as well as consumer behaviour play a crucial role and raise the question of responsibility in a global context.
The Heinrich Böll Foundation European Union and the representation of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) to the EU organised an evening debate on “An Insatiable Global Market – is Agribusiness Destroying Our Planet?” on 20th April and invited Horst Becker (Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Agriculture, Conservation and Consumer Protection, NRW), Peter Jahr (Member of European Parliament (MEP)), Dr. Anton Hofreiter (Chair of the Green Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag),Willi Kampmann (German Farmers’ Association), Britta Gallus (Metro Group), Peter Möhringer (Fair Trade Advocacy Office), Faustine Bas-Defossez (European Environmental Bureau) and Jean-Pierre Halkin (DG DEVCO, EU Commission) as key speakers from diverse background. In an interactive setting, the discussions critically shed light on the practice and impact of agribusiness in Europe, focusing on interrelations and responsibility concerning global and development policy. An interested audience of more than 100 people took part in four interactive Round Tables and a final panel, which ensured a rich and broad debate.