GERMANY, Frankfurt. After two years of pandemic and restrictions, entrepreneurs in the German meat industry are finally hoping for more predictability for their business in 2022.
Our industry has to deal with changes that will have a decisive impact on the near future. The enormous structural change that is evident in large parts of agriculture, the growing social sensitivity to the complex issues of sustainability and, of course, a changed political environment call for different ways of acting. In addition to these dynamic processes, of course, we still have the basic problems that have been with us for some time. Just think of the huge shortage of skilled workers.
In my opinion, it will therefore be even more important than it already is to embrace change and to be as forward-looking as possible, both in our own companies and, of course, in the work of the association. That is what it will come down to: Such turbulent times must not only be seen as a threat, but even more as an opportunity. I'm not worried, because despite all the prophecies of doom, the butcher's trade has always held its own, especially when the going gets tough. But there's plenty of work waiting for us, 2022 definitely won't be boring."
The Corona pandemic has shown that there is no substitute for personal encounters at presence trade shows. This is confirmed by both visitors and exhibitors across all sectors. With our sophisticated protection and hygiene concept, which has been coordinated with the authorities, we can successfully and safely hold trade fairs here at the Frankfurt site. We have impressively demonstrated this in recent months. We will do everything we can to provide the industry with safe business encounters at IFFA from May 14 to 19, 2022. I'm looking forward to face-to-face exchanges and innovations in the meat and protein industry."
In implementing the industry transformation, policymakers are also called upon to set clear and uniform guard rails. The German government's coalition agreement must now be implemented. Following on from the Borchert Plan and the husbandry and origin label, which we as a group of companies have supported, we would like to see rapid implementation and clarification of the financing issue. Agriculture in Germany needs planning security and a perspective for the future."
I then look forward to many relaxed and happy events and get-togethers with our customers, with our employees and with the family - and above all, of course, with the national team of the butcher's trade. Finally being back on the real stage with the other members of the team at events and trade fairs, acting as ambassadors to show how multifaceted our profession is. I missed that a lot last year. For example, the national team will be very present again at IFFA - everyone from the team is already looking forward to that.
But at the top of my wish list is the health of all of us. I became a father for the first time this year, and that makes you realize once again what's really important and what's a little less important."
We see changing eating habits as an opportunity for Bedford: for example, vegetarian alternatives are increasingly being requested for family members or friends in addition to meat and sausage for barbecues. This is where we want to come in and supplement our convenience range with plant-based alternatives for the counters and the prepack area, true to our philosophy 'there is no substitute for quality'.
I also expect to see a lot more happening on the subject of animal welfare. We are following this discussion with interest, as we already took an important step in this direction five years ago. With the founding of the Association for Open Stable Housing, we are committed to animal welfare and will continue to expand our range in this area as well."