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.

Maintaining international relations also includes organising and participating in the meetings of the G20 agriculture ministers, bilateral exchanges of scientists and international conferences, in particular the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA), and. Within the Federal Government, the BMEL is the lead agency for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). Since 2002, the BMEL has co-funded food security projects with the FAO under the Bilateral Trust Fund. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) is also well positioned internationally: BMEL agricultural advisers work at German embassies around the world. Staff also work in German representations to the FAO, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the European Union (EU). In addition, the ministry holds regular consultations with important partner countries and contributes its positions to international organisations.

A meeting as part of the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture
© Photothek/Thomas Trutschel

Overview of topics

Projects + pro­grammes

The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) maintains good bilateral relations with numerous countries. This takes place at various levels and is based on the idea of dialogue in partnership.



Within the framework of the Twinning programme, experts from Federal Government and Länder authorities are posted to partner countries, usually for a period of up to two years, to carry out projects in collaboration with local experts. Typical projects include setting up government institutions or preparing new legislation.


Did you know?


Ex­port pro­mo­tion pro­gramme for the Ger­man agri-food sec­tor (topic:trade-and-export)

The BMEL operates a programme to support the German agri-food sector in its endeavours to open up new markets abroad. The programme is constantly being refined and adapted to current requirements.


Co­op­er­a­tion with the coun­tries of North Amer­i­ca (topic:international-relations)

The main countries we cooperate with in North America are the USA, Canada and Mexico.


Co­op­er­a­tion with the coun­tries of the Mid­dle East (topic:international-relations)

The main countries we cooperate with in the Middle East are Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


The BMEL’s Com­mit­ment for Sus­tain­able Co­coa (topic:international-relations)

For Germany, one of the biggest exporters of chocolate products worldwide, cocoa as an agricultural commodity is of great economic importance. Almost ten percent of the cocoa produced worldwide is processed in Germany alone. It is thus useful to maintain the share of sustainably produced cocoa in the value-adding chain and to safeguard its availability and quality in the long term. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture has joined forces with the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development to work toward this goal.


Ques­tions and An­swers on the Com­mon Eu­ro­pean Agri­cul­tur­al Pol­i­cy (CAP) (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

The CAP has been one of the most important areas of European policy since the inception of European integration. The CAP has been repeatedly adjusted to take account of changes in living conditions in Europe.


Facts and fig­ures on Ger­man agri­cul­tur­al ex­ports (topic:trade-and-export)

The German agricultural and food industries are well positioned internationally: Germany has for many years been the world's third largest overall exporter of agricultural goods and the No. 1 exporter of confectionery, cheese, pork and agricultural technology.


The Prin­ci­ples for Re­spon­si­ble In­vest­ment in Agri­cul­ture and Food Sys­tems (topic:agenda-2030)

On 15 October, the member states of the Committee on World Food Security at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) unanimously adopted the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems.


Main fea­tures of the Com­mon Agri­cul­tur­al Pol­i­cy (CAP) and its im­ple­men­ta­tion in Ger­many (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will make European agriculture greener and more sustainable and provide a reliable and stable framework for the period up to 2020.


Fre­quent­ly Asked Ques­tions on the Back­ground of the Cur­rent Sta­tus of CAP (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

Frequently asked questions on the 2014 reform of the common agricultural policy


Cross-com­pli­ance (topic:eu-agricultural-policy)

Coupling EU farm payments with commitments in the fields of environmental protection, human, animal and plant health and animal welfare is defined as "cross-compliance".


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