Christian Hofer has been the Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG) since 1 December 2019. He was previously Head of the Bern Cantonal Office for Agriculture and Nature (LANAT) for almost two years. From 2009 to 2017, he served as an Assistant Director of the FOAG, responsible for the Direct Payments and Rural Development Directorate. He studied Agronomic Engineering (specialising in crop production) at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, graduating in1998. He also qualified as a teacher and worked as an agricultural consultant at Inforama Rütti (Bern). From 2000 to 2003, he managed the Profi Lait office and also worked as a scientist for the Swiss Grassland Society (AGFF). In 2003, he became Head of Sales (Switzerland) at DeLaval – the Swedish manufacturer of dairy farming equipment – in Sursee (Lucerne). He also obtained an MBA in Integrated Management from Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH).
Andrea Leute took up her post as head of the Directorate of Legal Affairs, Resources and Integral Security at the FOAG on 1 July 2008; she was appointed Assistant Director on 1 February 2014. Since completing her studies at the Bern Business School (HFW) she has taken further courses in management, sales, marketing and sales, methodology and psychology. In 2005 she successfully completed an Executive Master course in Human Resources Management (NDS FH). Working in the private industry sector, she was in charge of human resources and finance in various companies. From 2006 to 2008, she was head of the Human Resources Section at the FOAG.
Bernard Belk was appointed Assistant Director of the FOAG on 1 March 2018 and heads the Direct Payments and Rural Development Directorate. He has more than 25 years of experience in the food and agricultural sector. He started as a farmer in Switzerland and New Zealand growing crops and breeding milking cows, sheep and cattle. Bernard Belk then led the FAO program in Cape Verde and then worked at SGS SA with global agricultural responsibilities out of Geneva and Brazil. Before joining FOAG, Bernard Belk headed the Global Food & Agriculture Business at Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, providing insurance solutions to supply chain players to protect them against yield and commodity price volatility. Mr Belk holds a Master Degree in Agriculture Economics from the Swiss Institute of Technology ETH in Zurich, a MBA from IMD in Lausanne, a MAS in Real Estate from the University of Zurich and a Federal Vocational Diploma in agriculture.
Gabriele Schachermayr has been Assistant Director of the FOAG since 1 July 2018. She heads the Production Bases, Natural Resources and Research Directorate. She completed studies in agronomy at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, specialising in plant production. She received a doctorate in plant breeding from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and later a postgraduate diploma in Management and Policy in Public Institutions from the University of Bern. Until 2003, Gabriele Schachermayr led various research projects at the Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station (ART). She spent the following six years at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL), where she was responsible for an international research programme in the field of agricultural and environmental biotechnology. She joined the FOAG in 2009 and has latterly been head of the Plant Health and Varieties Department.
Jean-Marc Chappuis was appointed Assistant Director of the FOAG on 1 August 2018; on 16 March 2020 he was appointed Deputy Director. He is head of the Markets and International Affairs Directorate. Jean-Marc Chappuis holds a doctorate in agricultural engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) specialising in agricultural economics. He headed the Knowledge Systems, Technology and International Affairs Directorate at the FOAG between August 2018 and June 2022. Before he joined the FOAG, he held posts as counsellor in agricultural policy to Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann and as advisor for the Federal Office for National Economic Supply (FONES) in the General Secretariat of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER).
Last modification 08.07.2022