Press release of 12 April 2019

Merger between HEKS/EPER and Bread for All well on track

HEKS/EPER and Bread for All have decided to join forces for the future. On the basis of a preliminary project begun in October 2018, the Boards of Trustees of the two church-run development agencies recently reached a decision in principle to that effect. By joining forces, Bread for All and HEKS/EPER aim to strengthen their position in an ever more competitive environment, whilst further optimizing the impacts of their projects and activities in Switzerland and abroad. The merger should be completed by 2021.

Sicherung von Land und Ressourcen für Kleinbauern
Christian Bobst
There had already been several initiatives over the past 30 years to merge HEKS/EPER and Bread for All. The idea was revived in October 2018 and explored in depth over recent months. A project management group comprising representatives of both agencies, with the collaboration of staff members and the support of an outside consulting firm, assessed several variants of a possible merger. This entailed specifically exploring the issues of complementarity between the agencies, a target image, financial matters, as well as the development of common governance and a shared culture. Based on the positive outcome of the preliminary project, both Boards of Trustees on 29 March and 5 April 2019 reached a decision in principle whereby Bread for All and HEKS/EPER will merge to form a single entity. Both brands will be preserved in the first instance. The head office of the new organization will be located in Zurich and the business offices of both organizations in Berne and Lausanne will be maintained. Ecumenical cooperation with the Swiss Catholic Lenten Fund will continue.
The merger of both agencies will lead to a modest reduction in the staff complement. This will take place in a socially responsible manner and as far as possible in the framework of regular staff turnover during the next two years. The operational structure, future strategy and legal form of the new entity will be worked out in the coming months. As a donor to both organizations, the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches (FSPC) has been involved in this process. The Boards of Trustees of both bodies are convinced that merging HEKS/EPER and Bread for All will create invaluable synergies and give rise to a new, innovative and competitive entity. For its mission to champion the cause of the underprivileged around the world and in Switzerland, the new organization possesses proven programme experience, subject area expertise and a capacity for social mobilization.
Dieter Wüthrich
Head of Media and Information Department
Dieter Wüthrich

Phone: +41 44 360 88 66
Mobile: +41 76 461 88 70