BLU Bundesverband Lohnunternehmen e. V.
President: Klaus Pentzlin
Director: Dr. Martin Wesenberg
Adress: Seewiese 1, 31555 Suthfeld-Riehe
Tel.: +49 5723 7497-0
Date established 1988
The BLU (Bundesverband Lohnunternehmen e. V.) was formed in 1988 as an independent umbrella organisation for national associations and specialist groups based all over Germany. These regional organisations still have their own offices, which used to manage the federations and regional working groups, while overseeing and advising affiliated rural contractors. The BLU office now supports approximately 75% of agricultural, rural and forestry contractors in the Federal Republic. The BLU developed from the federal working group of agricultural, rural and forestry contractors, which was supervised by an employee of the German Farmers’ Association (DBV) in Bonn until the late 1980s.
Activities of the national representative organisation
A new campaign called “10 points for image and acceptance” aims to improve the image of the profession and how it is perceived by the population.
The 7th edition of the biennial DeLuTa fair was held in early December 2014 in Münster. Some 12,000 contractors and guests made this specialist BLU event a special occasion, which united two thirds of its members from all over the country. One of the factors behind the success of DeLuTa is its international dimension. It was also attended by contractors from the Netherlands, England, Denmark, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Poland and Italy.
Agritechnica 2015, which will be held in Hannover, will be an opportunity for the BLU to promote its members and activities, as well as its new “Young BLU” organisation (“Young people of the BLU”), which unites young entrepreneurs and represents the future of the association.
Key figures and contractor profiles
In Germany, there are currently approx. 3,200 professional agricultural, rural and forestry contractors. However, over 40% of them are run by farms as a sideline.
In 2014, the sector generated a total turnover of approximately €3.3 billion. As before, agriculture is the most important customer group, with a share of over 70%. Agricultural, rural and forestry contractors offer all kinds of services “from sowing to harvesting” on arable land and pasture. They also harvest silage/maize and apply commercial fertilisers (slurry, manure) for livestock farms, which represent the largest market shares. Over the last 10 years, providing supplies and waste management for biogas systems used to generate power has now developed into a major source of income, which amounts to €600 million per year.
With an average annual turnover of over one million Euros, German agricultural, rural and forestry contractors have a highly varied profile and can employ up to 100 people.
It is estimated that they invest approx. 800 million Euros per year, so that their customers can benefit from technical advances in the agricultural sector and acquire new market shares.
The agricultural, rural and forestry contractor sector currently employs about 16,000 full-time and 20,000 part-time workers. This means that approximately 20,000 full-time employees (full-time equivalent) work for German agricultural, rural and forestry contractors.
For 10 years, professional training has been available for people employed by contractors. Every year, 230 young people complete professional training as skilled agricultural service technicians, so that they can be employed by agricultural, rural and forestry contractors as qualified workers. In order to take on business management responsibilities, it is possible to complete further training as an “agricultural service engineer”.