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Episode 4: Fair, true, cost-covering?

The prices we pay for our food


The prices producers receive for food should be fair and secure their livelihoods. This applies to both the German dairy farmer and the Latin American coffee picker. But what does that actually mean? And how can social and ecological demands be incorporated into pricing? What possibilities does the state have to influence pricing?

(only in German)

„I am glad that we have passed a supply chain law in Germany that at least advances the minimum standards, the respect of human rights, in international supply chains.
Regina Birner, Professor University of Hohenheim

The gap between so-called private and social costs is becoming more and more obvious: costs incurred through food production, here especially through the use of environmental system services and land, are not reflected in the prices at the shop counter. On the other hand, less and less of the proceeds from sales remain with the producers.

In the podcast, our guests Regina Birner and Martin Banse argue for the development of instruments and measures that reveal the differences between private and social costs, thereby enabling the development of fair prices on the market. They explain the possibility of how the state could steer prices via VAT and why state-set minimum prices for the litre of milk, for example, are an outdated idea. Looking to the future, they discuss the role of interesting alternatives to the market and the state based on citizen engagement, such as community food councils and solidarity farming.

Our guests

Prof. Dr. Regina Birner holds the Chair for Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the University of Hohenheim. The agricultural economist is a member of the BMEL's Advisory Council for Agricultural and Food Policy and advises international organisations such as the World Bank and the FAO.

PD Dr. Martin Banse is head of the Thünen Institute for Market Analysis. The agricultural economist is an expert in agricultural market theory and deals, among other things, with transformation processes in agriculture and the food industry.

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