BMA Code of Ethics and Business Conduct  


To be recognised…

  • as the most cutting-edge independent provider of efficient, innovative and hygienic solutions for our target group in the global sugar industry.

…as the global authority…

  • BMA has both the expertise and the experience to set and develop standards in all relevant market segments worldwide.
  • BMA maintains excellent relations with all business partners, and with research centres and other organisations. We also make substantial investments in development.
  • The basis for this is the high quality of our internal and external processes.

…for solutions…

  • Customers can benefit from our attractive solutions for process steps, equipment and automation, and from our technical, financial and management services.

…in the sugar industry.

  • The BMA Group caters to the international sugar and sweetener industries and other selected food sectors.


A place for everyone.

3.1 Showing respect to everyone

We treat all our employees equally and with respect and dignity. In interactions with colleagues, customers, suppliers and officials, your conduct should be fair and respectful at all times. We take a zero-tolerance approach to the harassment, bullying or discrimination of employees and any form of violence within BMA. Please raise any concern you may have with your supervisor or the Human Resources department.

3.2 Ensuring a safe and healthy workplace
We strive to keep all our work environments accident-free. Preventive measures are in place to protect your health and the environment. To achieve our goal of a safe and healthy workplace, it is essential that you strictly follow the safety rules in your workplace at all times.
Please note that the consumption of alcohol and the possession or use of illegal drugs or controlled substances in the workplace is prohibited, as they may affect your ability to perform your duties at work.


Question: I believe that I was not selected for the position advertised because I am a woman, even though I was the best qualified candidate.

Answer: Please speak to the Human Resources department and they will ask the person who made this decision for their reasons for promoting someone else instead of you.


Question: Is it okay to drink alcohol during my lunch break?

Answer: Do not consume alcohol or possess or use any illegal drugs or controlled substances in the workplace, if their influence may have an effect on your ability to fulfill your duties at work.



Personal and job-related interests

5.1 Conflicts of interest
We respect our employees’ privacy and we have no intention of interfering with your personal life. At the same time, BMA has the duty to avoid conflicts of interest, which may arise when an employee’s personal interests are or could be in conflict with the interests of BMA. In order to prevent potential conflicts of interest, please ensure that you distinguish clearly between your own private interests and those of BMA. You will be expected to let your supervisor know of any personal interest that may affect your business decisions.

In particular, DO NOT:

- work for another company or individual while you are employed by BMA without prior written permission from your supervisor or the Human Resources department;

- provide services or products that are similar to or compete with BMA services or products;

- directly hire a family member, spouse or friend to work in your department or in a position that reports to you. You will be expected to disclose the relationship and not become involved in the hiring decision;

- invest in more than 1 % of a customer’s, vendor’s, supplier’s or competitor’s share capital without prior approval by your supervisor.

5.2 Use of Corporate Opportunities for Self Gain

Any business opportunity that arises as a result of your work for BMA belongs to BMA. You must therefore not use BMA’s property or information or your position at BMA for your personal benefit or advantage, in particular for establishing a competing business or working for a competitor to take advantage of your position at BMA.


Question: My wife has just lost her job. Since there is a job vacancy in the department where I work, I was thinking of hiring her. Is that possible?

Answer: BMA would be allowed to hire your wife. However, this decision would has to be made by someone who is not in a conflict of interests and based on your wife’s qualifications. Please speak to your supervisor and the Human Resources department to discuss the proper procedure.


Who to talk to at BMA

7.1 Further information and contacts
For guidance on ethical concerns or if you suspect a violation of this Code of Ethics and Business Conduct or any applicable law or regulation, please contact your supervisor, manager or the Compliance Officer immediately.

7.2 Compliance contact


We take the German Whistleblower Protection Act seriously! (Hinweisgeberschutzgesetz/HinSchG) 

Report legal violations easily and anonymously here 


The basis for doing business

We have established a compliance program to assist you in understanding and meeting your legal, ethical and regulatory obligations. Compliance is everyone’s responsibility. The Code reflects our core values and how we want to do business and treat each other, our customers and our business partners. Essentially, the Code defines the principles and forms the basis for our way of doing business. Additional policies and guidelines complement the Code and provide further guidance on the topics addressed in the Code. Please read the Code carefully and follow its guidance in your day-to-day work.

2.1 Reporting concerns and seeking guidance
If you know of or suspect violations of the Code or any applicable law by an employee or third party (such as a supplier or distributor), please report the matter to your supervisor, the Human Resources department or the Compliance Officer. Support is available to you if you are unsure of what to do in such a situation. We encourage everyone to raise their concerns freely. If you report concerns in good faith, you will be protected from any negative consequences or retaliation. Anyone who engages in retaliation against you after you have reported concerns in good faith will be subject to disciplinary action.

2.2 Consequences of unethical or unlawful behavior
If any of our employees or business partners are found to have engaged in unethical or unlawful behaviour, we will take appropriate disciplinary action up to the immediate termination of employment or engagement of a business partner. The type of action will depend on the nature, seriousness, and frequency of the violation.


Laws and regulations

4.1 Compliance with laws and regulations
We always follow the laws, rules and regulations of the countries in which we operate. We also expect you to uphold all applicable laws, rules and regulations when performing your duties.

4.2 Anti-corruption
As a multinational company, BMA is subject to the anti-corruption laws of many jurisdictions, including the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the German Criminal Code.
We at BMA take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of corruption anywhere in the world, either involving public officials or business partners, or when we buy or sell goods or services. We expect you to make business decisions and do your work based on price, quality, and service.

DO NOT offer, promise, authorise or give anything of value, directly or indirectly through a third party, to any public official or person associated with one of our business partners with the intention of influencing any decision-making process or action. Likewise, you must not request, agree to receive or accept anything of value for yourself or any other person or entity if it is offered to influence your business decisions.

Please note that we may be held liable if one of our business partners, such as a joint venture partner or intermediary, bribes a public official or a customer’s employee, particularly if someone at BMA was aware of their misconduct. 

If you have reason to suspect such misconduct, please raise your concerns.

DO NOT make any payments to public officials to speed up official actions – even actions that BMA is entitled to (such as obtaining a permit) – or to influence public officials.
Corruption often occurs in secret. An effective measure to prevent corruption and to avoid the appearance of corruption is to conduct business openly and transparently.


Question: If a consultant approached us, suggesting he could acquire new business leads thanks to his good contacts, in return for a high commission, would that be okay?

Answer: No. There is a high risk that this third party could use the commission for improper payments. Please report the matter to the Compliance Officer immediately.


Question: When submitting an application for tender, I was told by a public official that I would have to use a specific consultant not listed in the public tender specifications, in order to “facilitate commercial aspects” of the transaction. Should I use this consultant?

Answer: No. This is a common scheme used to facilitate bribe payments. Please report the matter to the Compliance Officer immediately.


4.3 Gifts and hospitality
Accepting or offering modest gifts and hospitality occasionally may be legitimate to build or maintain good business relationships. However, you should not accept or offer a gift or hospitality if it could make you or the recipient feel that something is "owed" in return. A common indicator is whether or not the recipient would spend the respective sum on the gift or hospitality himself or herself. A second indicator is whether offering or accepting the gift or hospitality could lead to an article in a (local) newspaper. Do not give or accept gifts or hospitality in secret, and always take into account the local customs, culture and standard of living.

DO NOT offer a gift or hospitality to any public official without prior written approval by BMA's Compliance Officer, even if you consider its value to be low. Remember that, in many countries, companies are owned by the state, which makes their employees and managers public officials.

4.4 Donations
BMA encourages donations to charitable and non-profit organisations. We must, however, avoid such donations being viewed as an attempt to influence decisions favouring BMA's business. BMA does not make donations to political or religious organisations. Donations and contributions always require prior approval. All donations and contributions must be made openly. Every country has a process for reviewing all proposed donations.

4.5 Anti-money laundering
A company may (unintentionally) engage in money laundering if it accepts payments that originate from criminal activities like fraud, bribery or other offences. If you are worried that one of BMA’s business partners may be involved in questionable business activities, please raise your concerns.


Question: One of our customers has paid more for the delivery of goods than invoiced by us. The customer has asked us to transfer the excess funds to his account in the Cayman Islands. What should I do?

Answer: Please ask the customer if you can transfer the excess funds back to the account where they originated. In addition, please report the matter to the Compliance Department immediately.


Question: I would like to give a courtesy gift worth approximately EUR 80 to a potential customer representing a private company. Are there any restrictions concerning the gift value?

Answer: Yes, there are. You need to check whether the gift is in line with our anti-corruption policy.


Question: I am a member of the Church of Scientology. Can I give our old printers to the church as a donation on behalf of BMA?

Answer: No, you can’t. BMA does not make donations to religious organisations. Please read the relevant BMA policy on donations and political contributions.


4.6 Customs regulations, embargoes and trade sanctions
When we export our goods to countries outside the European Union, we have to comply with the applicable customs and export control regulations. At present, there are frequent changes in the embargo and trade sanctions landscape. As a result, we may not be able to do business with companies or individuals in specific countries. If you know or suspect that companies or individuals we are dealing with may be subject to an embargo or trade sanctions, please raise the matter with BMA's Compliance Officer immediately.

4.7 Commitment to fair competition
We do not – directly or indirectly – share with competitors sensitive information such as on pricing, price terms, customers or markets. It would ultimately harm our company if you engaged in such anticompetitive activities, and it is not in line with our core values. You should be particularly careful at association meetings and trade shows.
We make inventions and sell innovative products and services at fair prices. We treat our suppliers and customers with respect and in line with the rules and regulations on fair competition that may apply to the agreements in a supply chain. We take a zero-tolerance approach to the theft of trade secrets and non-public information for the purpose of obtaining a competitive advantage. 

4.8 Product regulations and advertising
We strive for excellence in the quality of our services and the products we supply to our customers. Our aim is to deliver our products and to provide our services on time, in perfect condition and good working order. BMA will design, manufacture, market and install only products and systems that are safe to use.
We must always be truthful and accurate when we describe our products and services. You have to provide truthful and accurate descriptions of our products and services and only make statements that can be supported by the appropriate information.


Question: I forgot to ship a product from Germany to the United States for a trade show. My colleague has told me that, in a similar situation, he simply put the item in his carry-on luggage. Is it acceptable for me to transport the item in this way?

Answer: No, it isn’t. You first have to find out whether the product is subject to any customs regulations or export controls. In order to do that, please contact your supervisor and the Compliance Officer to discuss whether you may take a BMA product out of Germany, as it could be subject to both import and export controls in other countries.


Question: At a trade fair a representative of a competitor approached me and informed me that we would like to discuss a strategy which could benefit both our companies. May I go to that meeting to find out what she has to say?

Answer: No. There is a high risk that attending such a meeting could result in anticompetitive behavior. Politely refuse to attend the meeting and immediately inform the Compliance Officer.


Question: I would like to book a print advertisement for a new product. The final metered values are not available yet, but I would still like to say that it performs far better than our competitors’ products. Am I allowed to do that?

Answer: No. Without metered values, you may not make claims about the new product that can’t be substantiated.


4.9 Protecting the environment
Our aim is to minimise environmental pollution and to help protect our environment. We regularly review our products and processes for energy efficiency. We ensure that we follow all relevant laws and regulations on waste, recycling, and non-contamination.

4.10 Accurate books, records and billing practices
All BMA business records must accurately reflect the true nature and extent of the transactions or expenditures. All billing for products and services must be truthful, accurate and complete. The reporting of BMA’s assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses must also be prompt and correct. We are committed to maintaining internal accounting controls to ensure the accuracy of our financial records and accounts.

4.11 Proper response to information requests
We properly respond to all government audits, reviews and investigations. If you receive a government request that does not fall within your responsibilities, please contact your supervisor for guidance immediately.

4.12 Communication with the media
Open and honest communication is the basis for building and maintaining the trust of our customers, shareholders and stakeholders. If you receive a request for any BMA-related information from the media, please refer the request to the manager of your site.


Question: I have received a call from a journalist working for a local newspaper, who wants to interview me in relation to a new engineering programme we are planning to launch within the next few weeks. What should I do?

Answer: You should not accept the interview. Please make a note of the journalist’s contact details and forward them to the Communications Department, who will handle the enquiry.


BMA property and assets

6.1 Protection of BMA assets
It is your responsibility to protect BMA's property and assets, such as computers, phones, tools, equipment, vehicles or office supplies, and to ensure that they are not misused, wasted, damaged, lost or stolen. You must not let third parties use BMA property unless you are authorised to do so.


Question: I operate a general contractor business from home to make a little extra money. Would it be okay if I occasionally borrowed tools or welding equipment?

Answer: No. This would constitute improper use of BMA property for personal gain and is therefore prohibited. If you have any questions about the use of BMA assets or property for non-BMA related projects, please ask your supervisor or the Human Resources department to obtain written approval.


6.2 Handling of confidential information and IT security
All documents and information on BMA’s internal operations must be treated confidentially. Confidential information includes all non-public strategic, financial, and technical or business information relating to BMA, as well as all business and trade secrets of BMA’s business partners.

Please ensure that you handle confidential information with special care, particularly in public places such as on trains, buses, planes, etc., and that you take steps to protect your computer or other electronic device from unauthorised use, access or modification of software.

Our IT department has issued guidelines and can provide you with additional information on how to keep your accounts and devices safe.


Question: My colleague has asked me for another colleague’s personal telephone number and address. Am I allowed to share such private contact details?

Answer: Definitely not! These are personal data and such sensitive data may only be used for specific business purposes.


6.3 Data privacy
We only collect, process and use the personal data of our employees, customers, suppliers and other concerned individuals inasmuch as they are necessary for business or employment purposes. BMA treats such personal data as confidential and protects them.


Question: My daughter and I sometimes use my company tablet to access the internet. She has asked me if she and her friend can use my laptop while I am out of town this weekend. Can I give them my password?

Answer: No, you can’t. Passwords help keep BMA information systems secure. You must never share that information with anyone.


6.4 Social media
Social media form an important part of today’s business and their importance is growing. Please keep the interests of BMA in mind when you use social media channels. Consult our social media guidelines for guidance.


Question: Our department is developing a new product. Is it okay to post a picture of new product or share information about it in my private social media profile?

Answer: No, it’s not! Please do not share any information about products from BMA that are under development or secret in your social media profile. In all other cases, please contact your supervisor for guidance.