International affairs

The markets of the agricultural and food industry are globally intertwined. Export and trade - which includes international and national fairs - play an important role. Whether regarding trade, consumer protection or nutrition issues - anyone who wants to successfully tackle political goals in these fields must do so beyond national borders at European and international level.

The challenges are manifold: agricultural goods worth almost 1.5 trillion US dollars are traded worldwide every year. Climate change, diseases and animal epidemics do not stop at national borders. Added to this are global obligations: with Agenda 2030, for example, the global community has committed itself to overcoming hunger and malnutrition. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is shouldering its responsibility in this area.

Overview of topics

International relations

The instruments of international cooperation with other countries range from high-level working groups, technical discussions at working level, bilateral cooperation projects and the EU's twinning programme for authorities to involvement in international organisations.


Foreign trade policy

Agricultural markets are places where agricultural products and raw materials are exchanged and prices for these products and materials are set. Traditionally, many of these markets were heavily regulated within the EU. Through the EU's agricultural reforms, however, governmental influence has declined continually over the last two decades, which has meant that the role played by developments on global markets and international agricultural futures markets in setting prices has become increasingly important.


Agenda 2030

To meet the challenges of sustainable development in a globally coordinated manner, in 2015 the international community adopted “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.


Global Forum for Food and Agriculture

The Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) is the world's leading international conference on key issues regarding the future of the global agri-food industry. The GFFA focuses on the issue of food security and has taken place annually during the International Green Week in Berlin since 2009. The Berlin Agriculture Ministers‘ Conference is the political highlight of the GFFA.



German regulations on the import of food (topic:food-controls)

There are a number of national and EU regulations that apply regarding the import of food to Germany


Certified sustainable palm oil in Germany – Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (topic:sustainability)

The aim is for all palm oil used in Germany to be from sustainable production. This is the express aim of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL). The successful work carried out by the Forum for Sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP), which is supported by the BMEL, was commended at the forum's annual general meeting on 27 April 2023. Parliamentary State Secretary Ms Müller emphasised in her speech to the AGM what challenges the EU Regulation on deforestation-free products holds and how important the role of FONAP is for its implementation.