The “Grüne Woche”. Beyond Bratwurst and totally Tasty
Thinking about Berlin towards the end of January? Yes, you’re right; “bleak” is one of the first words that springs to mind.
Never fear; the pubs and clubs, and no fewer than 23 Michelin-starred restaurants in the city continue to do a roaring trade. And, talking about food, we have the enormous annual international exhibition of the food and gardening industries – the “Grüne Woche” (or Green Week) – to get our teeth in to.
The event takes place way out west at the Messe exhibition complex and has been a significant fixture in the culinary calendar of both trade professionals and the public since its inception as long ago as in the year 1928.
Not surprisingly, it was on-ice during the murderous 1939-1945 period, but it was back in business by 1948, which is also notable, insofar as actual starvation was rife in Berlin during the aftermath of the second world war.
What on the Menu for 2024?
The 2024 edition will take place between 19-28 January and is expected to attract upwards on 400,000 visitors from around the globe. Whether you’re a professional chef, a producer or simply a lover of good food, there are myriad reasons to take in the event at least a couple of times during the edition.
The Farmers’ Market:
This is where we go way beyond the Bratwurst; the Grüne Woche farmers’ market is a focal part of the event, where local farmers and producers sell fresh and regional products directly to the public. This provides an excellent platform for small-scale farmers to connect with customers and promote their products, convincing them that artisanal food in Germany can be to die for.
The fair showcases a wide variety of agricultural and food products, ranging from fresh produce and meats to dairy products and all manner of beverages. Numbering some 1,400 in total, these exhibitors include farmers, producers, and new and established companies. This provides a unique opportunity for us to interact directly with producers, ask questions about food production processes, and gain a better understanding of where our food comes from.
Look out for live events. Renowned chefs seize the chance to cook up a storm, demonstrating their mouth-watering talents.
And you’re invited!
The Grüne Woche is very much an international event, and numerous countries participate by setting up pavilions to showcase their agricultural and culinary traditions. Visitors have the opportunity to explore a diverse range of global cuisines and learn about agricultural practices from various countries.
Conferences and Seminars:
Workshops, conferences, and seminars on topics related to agriculture, food production and sustainability are also a big deal at the Grüne Woche. Experts from the industry and academia share their knowledge and insights during these sessions. The event’s website is the place to go to for the latest listings and bookings for the best of the best.
Would you like a Side-Order of Politics?
For several years now, the Grüne Woche has been accompanied by protests under the banner of “Wir haben es satt!”, or “We’re fed up!”, in English. Welcome to Berlin – we will never agree on anything.
The initiative presents itself as a global movement for climate justice and consistent climate protection, and they have been known to draw up to 50,000 demonstrators coalescing around the call that “Rural and organic farming is the right answer to the climate crisis, species extinction and hunger in the world – not genetic engineering, patents and glyphosate.” A good point well made …
The next planned demo will be on 20.01.24 and can be followed under the #WHES24-Demo hashtag.
So what will it be, madam, an exhibition or a demo? But, it doesn’t have to be binary. The good news is that the Grüne Woche places a strong emphasis on sustainable agriculture and innovation in the food sector. Exhibitors typically present cutting-edge technologies and practices aimed at improving efficiency, reducing environmental impact, and promoting sustainability in the agricultural industry.
Unlimited pass for the full event: €42,00
Daily pass: €16,00
Goodie-bag with handy coupons: € 3,50
Family and group tickets, and various concession offers are listed on the website.
“Wir haben es satt!”: Free, but bring rainproof clothes and a positive, party attitude.
Images: Generously made available by Grüne Woche – Messe Berlin GmbH and Inka Lange – Kampagne Meine Landwirtschaft.