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German potato industry champions sustainability and reduced bureaucracy ahead of EU elections

In a pivotal meeting held in Regensburg, the German Potato Trade Association (Deutscher Kartoffelhandelsverband e.V., DKHV) marked its 18th annual General Meeting by setting a decisive tone for the future of the potato industry in Europe. The association, representing a vital segment of the agricultural sector, has issued a call to policymakers to trim down bureaucratic red tape and boost innovation, as Europe edges closer to the 2024 EU elections.

Shaping EU policies to better support the potato sector

The DKHV’s agenda was heavily centered on outlining a proactive stance for upcoming political engagements. The meeting was presided over by Thomas Herkenrath, who led discussions that culminated in a robust endorsement of key demands aimed at shaping EU policies to better support the potato sector.

Among the key resolutions passed during the meeting was the appointment of Johann Dittenhauser Sr. and Karl-Heinz Wobbe as honorary board members, recognizing their significant contributions to the industry. Their careers, marked by decades of service, have influenced numerous advancements within the sector, reflecting the association’s commitment to leadership continuity and industry stewardship.

The assembly reviewed the DKHV’s business report, which highlighted the challenges and opportunities facing the potato trade amidst a changing economic and environmental landscape. Discussions emphasized the necessity for policy reforms that encourage less bureaucratic interference and foster an environment conducive to agricultural innovation.

List of comprehensive demands

The DKHV laid out a comprehensive list of demands to the EU policymakers:

Reduction of Bureaucracy: Advocating for the elimination of cumbersome bureaucratic processes to enable greater entrepreneurial freedom and safeguard the supply chain of potatoes.
Support for Research and Innovation: Calling for targeted support for R&D across the value chain, particularly in areas like modern agricultural technology and rural digitalization, to bolster sustainability and local supply networks.
Easing International Trade Barriers: The association highlighted the need for streamlined regulations that facilitate smoother international trade, reinforcing the potato industry’s role as a key economic player in Europe.
Sustainability and New Varieties: The DKHV urged a comprehensive approach to sustainability, promoting the development of new potato varieties that are resilient to climatic changes and environmental challenges.

Impact of bureaucratic requirements

In a candid address, DKHV President Thomas Herkenrath expressed concerns over the disproportionate impact of bureaucratic requirements on medium-sized enterprises, particularly family-owned businesses. “The current bureaucratic processes sap the vitality from our industry, compelling entrepreneurs to divert their focus from agricultural innovation to administrative compliance,” he stated.

As the EU elections draw near, the potato industry’s leaders are making it clear that for Europe’s agricultural sector to remain competitive and innovative, significant policy shifts are necessary. The DKHV’s call to action not only highlights the specific needs of the potato industry but also underscores a broader challenge faced by the agricultural sector across the continent.

The DKHV’s call to action underscores the importance of the potato industry within the European Union. By advocating for reduced bureaucracy, increased support for innovation, and a holistic approach to sustainability, the association aims to ensure the continued success and growth of this vital sector.

Source: German Potato Trade Association (Deutscher Kartoffelhandelsverband e.V., DKHV)
Cover image: Credit DKHV

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