Declines in production, supply bottlenecks and a lack of seasonal workers are having an impact on domestic agriculture. Are bottlenecks now threatening in supermarkets?
- The corona crisis * is stressing production in Germany
- Food producers and agriculture are also affected
- The Federal Minister of Food writes an aid letter to the government parties
Update 2:23 pm: The effects of delivery problems from abroad are not yet foreseeable, Klöckner admits on request. Changes can be expected, for example in rice or dry goods . A "seasonal shift" is also possible - for example, there is currently massive demand for potatoes.
At the same time, the Agriculture Minister hopes for a change in awareness. "We also have to ask ourselves: What is it worth to us?" She adds. There are reasons why retailers, partly because of a few cents price difference, refrained from listing products from Germany.
Klöckner emphasizes that there will certainly be bottlenecks in one or two goods: "But we are very well positioned with basic foodstuffs." She adds: "We will not starve. We should leave the church in the village now. "
Corona crisis: Are delivery bottlenecks threatening? Scheuer announces the “Freight Transport Pact”
Update 2:00 p.m .: "This crisis creates awareness for everyday heroes," says Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU). "The hero of everyday life is the truck driver, forklift driver, the warehouse clerk, the cashier, the one who controls an inland waterway vessel."
Scheuer reports that a “ freight transport pact ” has been concluded - this should guarantee security of supply. The measures went all the way to special teams that ensure hygiene on the toilets in the parking and rest areas . Truck drivers at logistics centers would also have to open the doors to sanitary facilities. "I will no longer accept that the Brummi drivers are treated badly," says the CSU politician.
“We have security of supply. Not every product is available on every shelf at every time of sale, ”Scheuer admits. "But if muesli is out, there are also two muesli" - buyers would also have to accept such small restrictions. A friendly word is also good for the sellers.
Scheuer goes on to say that it is a good thing with expiring TÜV badges. Consumers could extend their approval even after the Corona crisis had ended;
Corona crisis: 200 percent more rice - Klöckner reports drastic increases in demand
Update 1:50 p.m .: Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) reports in a joint press conference with Andreas Scheuer that there has been a sharp rise in demand for certain products : rice sales have recently increased by 208 percent, pasta sales by 117 percent and flour sales by 105 percent. There is "no reason to hoard food", which then "gets into the bin because of its perishability," says the minister.
Klöckner indicates problems with the staffing in the food industry . Commuters from the Czech Republic or Poland were now partially eliminated, and the childcare required due to the school closings also played a role. The entry stop for seasonal workers also hits companies hard. It is not just about the asparagus harvest, but also about sowing.
As a countermeasure, additional income - even for harvest helpers - should not be counted towards short-time allowance. Working time regulations are also made more flexible. All seasonal helpers could not be compensated. "So we have to see how we can help here."
Corona crisis: food shortages in Germany? AfD wants to "assign" students to the fields
Update 12.15 p.m .: Agriculture is struggling with a shortage of harvest workers - the AfD has come up with an idiosyncratic solution: The party wants to replace school workers and students from Eastern Europe who are missing due to the spread of the corona virus. "Pupils from the 10th grade and students are ideally suited to help out in agriculture," said the education policy spokesman for the AfD parliamentary group, Götz Frömming, on Thursday. After all, they have had good experiences with this in Germany in the past.
Strawberry harvest is being prepared
© dpa / Bernd Wüstneck
From a pedagogical point of view, the "secondment" of the pupils, accompanied by their teachers, makes sense to work on the field, said Frömming, who is a teacher by profession. Because the closure of schools and other youth and educational institutions "literally hits the ceiling on many young people at home".
In the GDR , schoolchildren and beginners were regularly used for harvesting. In the area of the old Federal Republic, the autumn holidays used to be called "potato holidays" because in some places, school children from the city also helped with the harvest - for a small fee - until the 1960s.
Food shortage in Germany? Klöckner and Spahn hold press conference
Update of March 26, 11:23 p.m .: Are Germany threatening food shortages? Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer (CSU) has already appeased. There will be more information at noon: Scheuer and Agriculture Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) have announced a press conference in Berlin at 1.30 p.m. The topic is food supply including supply chains, mobility and logistics.
The parties of the two ministers are currently among the political winners of the crisis, as a survey shows.
Corona crisis: food shortages in Germany?
Munich - Customers are clearing supermarket shelves , others are shaking their heads in front of it - and asparagus farmers are worried about harvest helpers from Eastern Europe: the consequences of the Corona crisis are also increasingly affecting consumers and agriculture. Again and again it is said that the food supply is secured. And: the supermarkets remain open. Nevertheless, it is clear that without the intensive European and international food trade, the citizens will sometimes have to do without. If domestic agriculture is not supported now, a food shortage could arise sooner or later, because food production in Germany is under pressure. This danger has now also reached politics.
Distance regulations * and delivery bottlenecks have a strong impact on German production . Agriculture is also feeling the crisis. Seasonal workers who are now urgently needed are simply not allowed to enter. In extreme cases, the German harvest could simply rot in the field. After weeks of calming down, Federal Food Minister Julia Klöckner now spoke of impending bottlenecks in a letter to the SPD and CDU .
Under normal circumstances, around 30,000 seasonal workers are needed in March in Germany. In May there will be 85,000. This endangers “our original production ” enormously. In her letter to the business insider, the minister stated that seasonal workers are currently impossible to raise.
Corona crisis: 11-point plan to secure supplies in Germany
To prevent gaps in supply, Julia Klöckner is now calling for an 11-point plan . "In the current situation, maintaining the food supply is very important." First of all, the food industry must be classified as " systemically relevant infrastructure ".
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Statement on the Federal Government's Corona Aid Package
A post shared by Julia Klöckner (@juliakloeckner) on Mar 23, 2020 at 2:11 pm PDT
Overall, working hours are to be treated more flexibly for a limited period and seasonal workers are now allowed to work in Germany instead of the previous 70, now 115 working days without social security.
In order to relieve various industries, temporary workers can be hired without permission . For example, companies severely affected by the crisis could shift their staff towards agriculture.
Corona crisis: "Massive labor shortage" possible
Goods traffic is also to be secured . After all, this supplies the supermarkets and thus the consumers. The Minister is also asking the following points:
- Workers who are already receiving short-time work allowance can earn extra money in agriculture. And in the amount of their previous wages.
- The platform daslandhilft.d e tries to find employers with job seekers
- The additional earnings limit of early retirees in pension insurance should be increased
- Even farmers between April 1 and June 30 should not be able to be terminated lease contracts for arable land if they are in default of payment - as is already the case for tenants
- The “ Corona Emergency Aid Program ” of the federal government should also be possible for farmers with up to 10 employees
- Aid for seasonal workers is also to be secured. A program of the agricultural pension bank provides for this. Loans with a term of up to 10 years are to be given one repayment year. In the case of existing loans, repayments can be suspended until March - however, an application is required for this.
Corona Crisis: Aid to the Agriculture and Food Sector
At the moment, the "level of supply for some foods is over 100 percent," said the minister. But fruit and vegetables are less than 40 percent.
"What is not sown, planted, harvested, processed and transported ends up missing to supply our population." The minister hopes to help agriculture with her points plan . The supply chains must stay in sync.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has tested positive for coronavirus.
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