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Press Release
17 May 2022

Think tank "Agora Agriculture" begins its work

The newly founded organization develops strategies and policy proposals for the transformation to sustainable food, agriculture, and forestry.

Berlin, 17 May 2022. With today’s launch of Agora Agriculture, the fourth Agora think tank starts its work in Berlin – following Agora Energiewende, Agora Verkehrswende, and Agora Industry. The Agora Agriculture team will focus on the topics of food, agriculture, and forestry in Germany and the EU. The three sectors are of great importance for climate protection, preserving biodiversity, and reaching other key sustainability goals at the national and international levels. The organization aims to provide sound analysis for the transformation and to develop science-based policy proposals for sustainable agricultural and food systems. The focus of Agora Agriculture’s work includes restructuring of livestock farming, sustainability in arable farming and sustainable land use, the rewetting of peatlands, sustainable forest use, and healthier and more sustainable diets.

The think tank is co-chaired by agricultural experts Christine Chemnitz and Harald Grethe. "We are very pleased that with the launch of Agora Agriculture, the Agora think tanks now cover another essential area in the transformation to climate neutrality," said Markus Steigenberger, Managing Director of Agora Energiewende. "The directors Christine Chemnitz and Harald Grethe bring scientific and agricultural policy expertise as well as a broad professional network in science, civil society and the political sphere to successfully set up Agora Agriculture."

An important basis of the work of Agora Agriculture is the integrated consideration of the key sustainability dimensions, which include climate protection and biodiversity. "Food, agricultural, and forestry policies need to be oriented towards key sustainability goals," said Harald Grethe, Director of Agora Agriculture. “The areas that require urgent political action are well known. With our work, we want to help ensure that political decision makers shape the transformation in a knowledge-based, transparent way and with a long-term perspective.”

The collaboration with Agora Energiewende, Agora Verkehrswende, and Agora Industry also enables a holistic view of synergies and conflicting goals in the context of future land use. "Contributing to solving the climate and biodiversity crisis holds great opportunities for the sectors involved and for society as a whole – also in politically uncertain times", said Agora Agriculture Director Christine Chemnitz. “Agora Agriculture is committed to preserving production resources such as soil and water, developing new sources of income, and increasing societal appreciation of agriculture and forestry." 

Chemnitz and Grethe will head Agora Agriculture and build an interdisciplinary 14-member team. Both have many years of professional experience in the fields of agricultural and food policy: Christine Chemnitz was previously Head of the Division on International Agricultural Policy at the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation for more than 15 years. Harald Grethe heads the International Agricultural Trade and Development Group at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and was chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board for Agricultural Policy, Food and Consumer Health Protection of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture from 2012 to 2020.

Agora Agriculture works independently of economic and partisan interests. It is supported by funding from private foundations. These include the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Porticus, the European Climate Foundation, and the Michael Otto Environmental Foundation. The Mercator Foundation is also one of the think tank's supporters. For more information visit www.agora-agriculture.org

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