Green Week, the annual Berlin expo devoted to farm produce and food opened to the public on Friday.
But over the plates of sausage and steins of beer being served at the world’s largest such event hangs the shadow of the dioxin scandal.
The recent discovery of the highly toxic chemical in animal feed triggered a health alert and hit sales of German eggs and pork.
Berlin moved quickly to tighten up standards, and at the show, Agriculture Minister Ilse Aigner stressed: “We are taking drastic measures. But it is also important to say, that this is not the full story. What we are showcasing here are the real essential good products, as well as focusing on our diversity, quality and regional specialities.”
Poland is the featured country at the fair, which includes over 1,600 exhibitors from 57 nations.
It is also the venue for a conference on world food trade – and a number of those gathered for that event warned we are facing big price rises for manufactured food because of higher costs for commodities, fertiliser and energy.