Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen!

”WASTE TO ENERGY”. This could be the motto of several European and Hungarian organisations, and this could become the slogan of many establishments in the world, too.

My name is Margit Batthyány-Schmidt, I am the first vice chair-woman of the Copa-Cogeca’s Women’ Committee and the chair-woman of the Union of Hungarian Women.

Both organisations work for women. They aim to increase the equal rights and possibilities for women in business and education, and nobody puts a bigger premium on nature, healthy foods and the health of families than women. Also Copa-Cogeca and the Union of Hungarian Women firmly support new technologies, that turn polluting waste into clean energy.

”Only destroy and use what you need to protect your life! Every unnecessarily picked flower and every needlessly killed animal shortens our lives”- said a Hungarian doctor and writer, Lajos Papp. This means there may not be enough money for environmental protection devices, but the prevention of pollution is also a possible solution.

2014 was pronounced the international year of family farming. The United Nations believes that family farming plays a central role in creating food security and ensuring the sustainable use of natural resources. It’s known that family farms use less fertilizer and pesticides, and the animals aren’t treated with antibiotics and hormones as often as in industrial production.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations supported my suggestion that the Global Forum on 5-6th March 2014 in Budapest should include a section dedicated to the situation of women. It should be pointed out that a family farm is unconceivable without a woman, whose work is instrumental in the success of the business and in increasing the income, and even if the ownership and the management is still in the hands of the male family member. Women generally play an important role in the cultural, landscape and historical heritage or as the providers of fresh healthy food for the local community.

At the same time we accept the man’s position in society as well as his workload, and we support them where we can. It is our standpoint that villages and small towns can only become more competitive if families have a secure income from working the fields for themselves and for generations to come.

I am very interested in new technologies that turn polluting waste into clean energy, and in the experience obtained other countries. How do they go about solving environmental problems?

I’m sure this conference will give us a lot of new information and solutions. We need such occasions. I wish you all a very successful and interesting conference! Thank you very much!