VITIFIT Collaborative Project Presented at the 2023 International Green Week

Federal Agricultural Minister Cem Özdemir with project leader Prof. Dr. Berkelmann-Löhnertz.

The International Green Week (IGW) is one of the most traditional and popular trade fairs in Germany. As the no. 1 international trade fair for food, agriculture and horticulture, the Green Week also showcases innovative projects and products from the viticulture sector. The 2023 edition of IGW took place in Berlin from January 19-29. VITIFIT – a collaborative research project coordinated by a team of scientists from Geisenheim – was presented to experts and the interested public.

The German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has selected VITIFIT as a special and unique viticulture project for this year’s IGW. The VITIFIT consortium is dedicated to reducing the use of copper in organic viticulture and is looking for effective copper substitutes. For the presentation of the project, a focus a placed on fungus-resistant grape varieties – so-called PIWIs – which require 2/3 less fungicides. PIWIs are therefore a key component in organic viticulture to reduce the use of copper. In conventional viticulture, they help to reduce the use of chemical fungicides.

At the VITIFIT booth in Hall 23a, trade fair visitors were invited to taste two PIWI wines and learn more about the project and organic viticulture.


Martin Ries, Chair of the VITIFIT Board, with Prof. Dr. Beate Berkelmann-Löhnertz (right) and Stefan Klärner (left) from Hochschule Geisenheim University.
Prof. Dr. Beate Berkelmann-Löhnertz with Dr. Christoph Eiden, President of the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (center), and Dr. Stefano Fotiou from FAO.
Dorothée Hahn (r.), Head of Unit 332 in the German Federal Organic Farming Program visited the VITIFIT project.