A new era for the German food sector association

A new name, a new chairman and one large member company fewer: there are changes at the association. Meanwhile, the dispute over labelling on packaging continues.

The German Federation for Food Law and Food Science e. V. (BLL) will in future be called Lebensmittelverband Deutschland. This was decided by the members at the general meeting. Philipp Hengstenberg (54), Managing Director Supply Chain of Hengstenberg GmbH und Co. KG, was also elected as the new President.

Environmental technologist Hengstenberg succeeds Stephan Niessner, member of the management board of Ferrero Deutschland GmbH, who has headed the association since May 2014 and did not stand for re-election when he retired.

In his farewell speech, Niessner emphasised the need to change the name: “It was my goal to preserve and strengthen the highly qualified legal and scientific expertise of the BLL and its orientation as a service provider for its members, while at the same time taking into account the increasing medialisation and politicisation of food issues. This also includes a name that represents the strength of the association.”


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Hengstenberg explained that the new name, Lebensmittelverband Deutschland, is also intended to present a new self-image of the association: “Today it is no longer enough to argue and act in terms of food law. Law and science have long since been joined by communication and debates about values”. Commenting on his personal work for the association, Hengstenberg stressed “I want to maintain the tradition of the association. At the same time, however, I am also an initiator. I believe that we must open up more to modern trends, which will require some new approaches. Staying true to ourselves, but taking new initiatives. This is not a contradiction, it is a necessity.”

Meanwhile, frozen food producer Iglo has left the association. The reason for this is the dispute over food labelling: Iglo wants to introduce the so-called Nutri Score for its products, which consolidates the nutritional information in a five-step scale from A to E on the packaging. The regional court of  Hamburg had issued an injunction temporarily blocking Nutri Score labelling on Iglo packaging. The Lebensmittelverband has published and recommended its own food labelling system.

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