On 22 November 2013, during the celebrations for the official launch of the International Year of Family Farming (IYFF) 2014 in New York, Mr Gerd Sonnleitner has been nominated “Good Will Ambassador” for the IYFF 2014.
Mr Sonnleitner is a family farmer from Bavaria. His family farm dates back to the 13th century. Since then it has been handed down in my family from generation to generation. Besides farming, Mr Sonnleitner started working for the Bavarian Young Farmers Association already in his youth to ensure that there is a generational renewal of the family farm model. Later on, he served as President of the Regional Farmers´ Organization in Bavaria and as President of the National Farmers´ Organization in Germany. He was elected twice as President of the European Farmers´ Association COPA. Additionally, Mr Sonnleitner is also engaged in the World Farmers’ Organisation (WFO).
During his video message at the opening of the IYFF, Mr Sonnleitner addressed the many challenges that family farmers are facing (i.e. climate change, price volatility, insufficient education and training, lack of access to funds and land) and proposed his vision of the way forward: “All these challenges can´t be tackled alone by the farming community. It is a matter of good governance. We need common strategies and political concepts to secure our food production in the future”.
The World Farmers’ Organisation, supporting the decision of the United Nations to declare 2014 as the International Year of Family Farming, welcomes the appointment of Mr Gerd Sonnleitner as “Good Will Ambassador” for the IYFF 2014 and wishes him a productive and fruitful mandate to give farmers in all parts of the world equal chances to develop agriculture to achieve food security.
Please find attached the pdf version of Gerd Sonnleitner's intervention.