We go green: 2 days in Berlin for the International Green Week

We go green: 2 days in Berlin for the International Green Week

The International Green Week is a must-attend event for the food, agriculture and horticulture industries. It takes place every year in Berlin, Germany, and during ten days, visitors can discover innovations, exchange with producers, taste their products or attend conferences, mostly oriented around sustainable solutions in these sectors.

For Open Food Facts, which is always on the go when it comes to meeting new players, this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the food ecosystem in Germany. Last week, Raphaël (our Machine Learning engineer) and Manon (our international development officer) traveled by train to represent Open Food Facts and meet with hundreds of exhibiting producers.

This fair is especially interesting because Open Food Facts is actively working to develop the project in its neighboring countries, especially in Germany. 

Indeed, the German database is growing week by week with nearly 200,000 products, over 3 million annual users and many volunteers, who are acting as pillars in our international expansion…Not to mention applications which reuse the data base, such as Smantry, which shared its uses of the Open Food Facts database in this article last month.

Enthusiastic and promising welcoming from the German market

After two days of walking through the 22 halls of the Messe Berlin exhibition center, our two special correspondents returned with very positive feedback.

At the International Green Week, they met a lot of producers, mostly small ones (< 50 references) of course, but producers who came from more than 100 different countries: Germans, Greeks, Brazilians, Peruvians, Uzbeks, Sri Lankans, etc…. And some French of course 😉 

This fair is similar to the Salon de l’Agriculture in France, so there were many animations, tastings of regional products, and educational workshops for the general public. During the exhibition, Raphaël and Manon had the chance to talk with faithful users of the OFF application in Germany, notably […]

This fair was also an opportunity to meet many German institutional actors such as the BMEL (which would be an equivalent of the french Ministry of Food and Health); distributors such as REWE and, among others, several labels strongly established in Germany such as Demeter, Bioland, Naturland. 

All of these contact points reacted with great enthusiasm to the Open Food Facts project. The Germans seemed to be particularly sensitive to climate-related initiatives, especially the efforts to develop a harmonized environmental label (read more about the Eco-Score).

Scanning apps: not yet in the consumers’ habits

Consumer habits in Germany still seem to be quite different from those in France when it comes to using a scanning application in supermarkets. For many, this idea seemed very innovative, yet attractive 🙂

Based on our discussions at the International Green Week, there is not yet a scan app that stands out as the clear leader in the German market. It’s up to us to continue to identify these German apps and start-ups and offer them the opportunity to join the food revolution, using the data from Open Food Facts. 

German or not… Join the movement !

We will be back in Germany for the Anuga fair (from the 7th to the 10th of october 2023) in Cologne, or even before if other opportunities arise, such as the VeggieWorld fair. 

What we particularly like at Open Food Facts is to bring volunteers to the fairs we attend. It’s an opportunity to get to know each other and share a good time around our common interests.

=> If you have identified a fair or would like to attend the next one with a member of the permanent team (or not!), write to us at contact@openfoodfacts.org or join the Slack.

At Open Food Facts, we keep in touch with everyone:

Last but not the least !

During our meetings in Berlin, we obviously took the time to discover German gastronomy and its well known beverages. 

Es lebe Deutschland, bis bald!

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