Last Thursday, the Onion Forum 2020 began in the beautiful location of St. Martin in the Palatinate, under the direction of Agrarmarkt Informations-Gesellschaft mbH (AMI) and Rheinische Landwirtschafts-Verlag LLC.
Just under 100 visitors arrived in brilliant weather for their lunchtime reception. The conference venue itself is steeped in history: only a few kilometres from Hambach Castle, the cradle of German democracy, the Hotel Haus am Weinberg was also a popular conference venue for former Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
Mathias vom Weg, Niklas Püttcher, Erik-Christof Wenzlaff, Dr. Peter Grauert and Bernd Haas / Picture: Freshplaza.de
In advance, the participants expected above all "to see and be seen": "I'm looking forward to getting to know a few new people. Thematically, I'm most interested in what the future of crop protection products will bring. After such a long time in the onion industry, however, I don't expect to be told many new things," said Wilhelm Kerres from Gut Erzelbach.
Hans-Christoph Behr (AMI) and Günter Hoos (DRL) together on stage / Picture: Freshplaza.de
Dietmar Kaufhold of Maurer Parat hopes for a perspective that will become interesting in the future, especially in connection with the pesticide situation: "We now sell quasi organic products but at conventional prices. This cannot be enforced for a long time".
The shortage of labour and the resulting need for automation is also a topic among the participants. However, the costs of such purchases are still too high for many people.
Participants of the Onion Forum / Picture: Freshplaza.de
The lower number of participants caught the eye of some visitors: "Last time, there were significantly more players from the industry here - but especially for those interested in Bavaria or Eastern Germany, the journey to the Palatinate is a long one", the report says.
Despite some slight technical problems, the presentations on the first day were also a hit and there were lively discussions and questions to the speakers, followed by mulled wine around the campfire and a magic show in the evening.