5 april 2019
The climate has become the new weather in the world of agriculture
Where the weather has always been topic of conversation number one at agricultural fairs and shows, the climate has really moved up the industry’s agenda – most recently with Tuesday’s broad statement on circular economy. The development is welcomed by NutriFair, which looks forward to supporting the green measures and repeating the success with even greater focus on climate and sustainability at the fair in 2020.
On Tuesday evening in week 14 (w/c 1 April), the Danish Minister for Environment and Food Jakob Ellemann-Jensen (V) and four trade organisations signed a new statement on circular economy. The statement is the latest step in a relatively rapid development which has meant that the climate is now well on its way to taking first place on the list of the most popular topics of conversation around the coffee tables.
Great potential for climate gains at farm level
But why is it happening now? One explanation is that, thanks to the UN Global Goals, the climate has moved deeper into the collective consciousness. But according to Jens Peter Hermansen, Ecological Consultant from Økologisk Landsforening (the Danish national organic association), who earlier this year visited NutriFair, Denmark’s leading trade fair for livestock producers, an equally important aspect is that climate issues also open up interesting – and profitable – new perspectives for many farms.
“There is great potential in doing something beneficial for the climate while improving the bottom line. What’s more, we, as managers of the earth’s resources, have a duty to and interest in setting a positive and proactive example in the climate issue. We must show the world around us that we can contribute and help find answers to the challenges that society is facing. Agriculture both can and should be part of the solution.” He continues:
“There are already numerous possibilities where this is concerned, which, depending on the conditions at the farm in question, may, for example, be to increase focus on binding more CO2 in the soil, recirculation of nutrients from the towns and cities to the country, optimal treatment and use of livestock manure, extended lactation and longevity, extraction of biogas, holistic grazing, planting and forestry, or allocation of areas for renewable energy such as wind turbines and solar cells. This is something we help identify through climate action plans.”
The solutions already exist
If you ask Jørgen Kronborg, Project Manager of NutriFair, there is no doubt that the climate issue is here to stay. On 16–17January, the most recent fair opened its doors to more than 250 exhibitors, and welcomed more than 4,500 decision makers from the industry. Here, it was not least the issue of the climate’s condition and development – and what the industry can do to help – that attracted attention during the fair.
“It’s almost as if the climate is taking over the weather’s role in terms of what everyone is talking about when the industry meets for fairs and shows. But for many people, the climate issue remains incredibly blurry: What exactly should and can we do? Fortunately, there are already a lot of solutions that can be brought into play, which was also evident at this year’s fair,” explains Kronborg.
Using the UN Global Goals as a planning tool
Among other things, NutriFair welcomed its visitors to an international conference on bioenergy, which was one of the fair’s major draws. Visitors could also watch speakers such as Steen Hildebrandt, Professor Emeritus of Management Studies at Aarhus School of Business, University of Aarhus, talk about the 17 UN Global Goals, and how they can be used as pointers for the development of individual farms.
“I believe that what we as an industry must focus on in the future is an expansion of the high level of professionalism that characterises Danish agriculture. Here at NutriFair, we want to support the green measures with both the latest knowledge from recognised experts and more product-oriented and practical elements, so that visitors come away with lots of new inspiration for the development of their own farms. And I can say with absolute certainty that on 15–16 January 2020, there will be even greater focus on climate and sustainability,” concludes Jørgen Kronborg.