Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (Germany)
The Federal Office of Agriculture and Food (BLE) is a federal authority. In all, it employs approx. 1,300 staff throughout Germany and at sea. In the areas of agriculture, fisheries and foodstuffs the BLE fulfils a wide range of tasks.
It is a central implementing authority within the scope of business of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
The rules of the common EU agricultural and fisheries policy and the related organisation of controls shape the work of the BLE, which also acts as EU accredited paying agency. Within their areas of activity, the BLE control services and its fishery protection vessels ensure that statutory rules are complied with.
In many cases the BLE also acts as nationwide accreditation body on behalf of private inspection bodies, for example for the monitoring of organic farms, or for sustainable production of biofuels and bioliquids for generating electricity and heat.
The BLE furthermore collects data and information on prices with regard to topics related to agriculture and food, and which are processed for the BMEL, for providing information, for statistical purposes, and also for political decision making.
As project initiator on behalf of the BMEL, the BLE manages, technically and in terms of organization, numerous national and international projects in the fields of food, agriculture and consumer protection.
It also acts as provider of management services to the BMEL and authorities within the scope of business of the BMEL.
The BLE was established with effect from 1 January 1995 by merging the former Federal Agency for Agricultural Market Organization (BALM) and the former Federal Office of Food and Forestry (BEF).
The President, as the head of the BLE, manages BLE operations and represents the BLE externally.
The Administrative Council is composed of representatives from the industry, state and federal administrations, and consumer groups. It advises the Federal Office in connection with its specific tasks. It brings forward proposals to the BMEL where matters relating to the BLE’s specific tasks are concerned. In all issues of principle the Administrative Council is consulted by the BMEL, and especially for the nomination of the president and the vice president, or in case of amendments to the statutes.
In addition, the Council decides on the establishment of advisory boards whose activities it coordinates. The advisory boards directly advise the BLE’s administrative organs in matters relating to each of their specific fields.
Headquarters, Branches and Offices
The BLE is based in Bonn-Mehlem and operates branches and offices across Germany. BLE branches and relocated units are located in Hamburg, Munich and Weimar. Offices responsible for issues related to quality control are based in Bremerhaven, Frankfurt/Main (airport, wholesale market), Hamburg (harbour, wholesale market) and Cologne.
BLE Guiding Principles
The BLE. For Agriculture and Food.
The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is the central service provider within the scope of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). They focus on tasks related to the implementation of measures aiming to strengthen sustainable agricultural, food, forestry and fishery industries along with rural development, and on the central provision of administrative and information services for the scope of the BMEL and other departments.
rely on their broad spectrum of expertise;
develop concepts to meet complex national and international tasks and implement them pragmatically;
organise cooperative and dialogue-oriented cooperation with our partners, thanks to years of experience;
combine their expertise with their procedural knowhow and information services;
react quickly and flexibly to new tasks and challenges.
They gear their services to the needs and requirements of their partners, customers and contracting parties in the fields of politics, society, economy, science and administration. Legal certainty and economic viability determine their actions. Their advice is both transparent and comprehensive. They decide promptly. Their long-term experience in agricultural and food policies translates into competence and practical relevance. Through their external service they assure their local presence, across the nation.
They apply the principles of cooperation and cooperative staff management and deal openly with each other. Competent, flexible and motivated employees are crucial for their success. The BLE considers the participation in decision making, the encouragement of performance, flexible working hours, measures which facilitate the reconciliation of work and family life as well as corporate health management a matter of course.
Responsibilities are clearly defined. They encourage and expect individual responsibility, personal initiative and flexibility at work as much as their employees’ continuous development of their technical skills. They assume their responsibility where appropriate working conditions in the public sector are concerned.
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