Pursuant to the Law on the Implementation of the Common Market Organisation (CMO), the BLE (Federal Office of Agriculture and Food) is the German market regulating agency for the common market organisations within the European Union. As the market regulating agency the BLE is, in particular, concerned with market intervention, private storage, aid measures and market observation.
As the Product Contact Point, the BLE provides information about national product legislation in force. The BLE is responsible for tasks relating to the food security and the energy supply in Germany. In two German federal states, the Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland, it offers consultations on bioenergy.
Since the founding of the European Union (EU), the common agricultural policy (CAP) has been one of its eminent policy areas that aims to guarantee consumers adequate prices for agricultural products and farmers a fair income.
To that effect, the EU agricultural market is organised, i.e. regulated by various governmental measures. One such measure is the purchase and sale of agricultural products by the state (intervention). Such measures also include state support or funding of certain behaviours, such as funding the cultivation of certain plant species, or private storage (financial support, aid). The BLE is the intervention agency of the Federal Republic of Germany for most agricultural products.
As the licensing authority for the cross-border movement of food, agricultural and forestry products, the BLE issues import and export licences and/or authorisations. The import list (Annex to the Foreign Trade Act) informs about products that require import licences and also contains details on any other foreign trade limitations which might apply.
The European Community provides funds to promote sales of European agricultural products on the internal market and in third countries and it supports central information and sales promotion measures in third countries for wines produced in Germany. In order to support endeavours of the German agricultural and food industries to open up and develop new markets abroad, the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) has initiated an exports promotion programme which the BLE co-ordinates.
Pursuant to the "Notifications of CAP Goods Act" and to the "Regulation on notification requirements regarding CAP goods" (CAP goods notification regulation), entities in the fats, cereal, starch, feed-stuffs, milk and sugar industries have to provide reports on quantities taken up and/ or processed, on products produced and sold as well as on stocks. In order to properly implement the legal requirements, the European Commission, the BMEL as well as the BLE depend upon regular information regarding market developments. For that purpose the BLE collects data to observe the markets for sugar, milk and milk products, oils and fats, cereals and cereal products and for fruit and vegetables.
As the Product Contact Point, the BLE provides information on products for which no uniform rules are yet in place throughout the EU, including, in particular, information on national product legislation in force.
Securing public food supplies is an essential part of state provided services for the common good. The BLE is responsible for the central tasks concerning food provision and food security. Among them are the assessment of the status quo in terms of provisions as well as the administrative and technical management of national food stocks. In case of crisis, the BLE shall be given extended powers to secure federal stocks of food and foodstuffs across the nation. In addition, the BLE analyses data on the energy supply and energy security in the case of emergency. It is developing a report on the energy situation in agriculture to secure in an emergency the provision of sufficient energy for agricultural production.
As part of a project of the Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR, Agency for Renewable Resources) the BLE provides consultation on the topic of bioenergy in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland. Consultants from different agricultural fields provide information for all aspects of bioenergy. The consultations are directed primarily to farmers and forest managers in an early state of planning and helps to decide the basic questions in the production and use of bioenergy. The goal is to find sustainable solutions for farmers and forest managers. The consultation is free of costs.