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Switzerland: Organic consumption has doubled in ten years

by Leo Frühschütz (comments: 0)

Swiss flag in front of blue sky
Every quarter, the FOAG publishes a report about the Swiss organic market developments. © Pixabay/Hans

In 2017, organic products worth 2.7 bn Swiss francs were sold in Switzerland, equivalent to 2.4 bn euros or 284 euros per capita. According to the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG), organic food sales have more than doubled within ten years and now account for 9% of total food sales.

Of this organic turnover, 44% were accounted for by supermarket Coop and 33% by competitor Migros. The organic specialist trade has a market share of one tenth. The rest is accounted for by other retailers and direct marketers. Compared to 2007, the figures show a significant gain for Migros at Coop's expense. The specialist trade also lost five percentage points of market share.

Eggs, vegetables and fresh bread have the highest organic shares with over 20%. Dairy products and fruit are still well above the average of 9%; while cheese, meat and frozen goods have much lower market shares. Regularly, the federal office also compares the expenses of a family with two children for a shopping basket with predominantly fresh products. For 2017, the price difference between organic and non-organic was 45%, a value that has been fairly stable in recent years. Unlike in Germany, the price difference between eggs (36%) and meat (40%) is rather small (measured in June 2018). Vegetables and flour are much more expensive. This could be due to the fact that conventional animal husbandry in Switzerland meets more demanding requirements and is structured in smaller parts than in Germany.

In its current market report, the FOAG provides detailed information on organic vegetable cultivation in Switzerland. In 2017, 2,426 hectares of field vegetables were cultivated there in organic quality, corresponding to one fifth of the total vegetable area. In the case of protected cultivation in greenhouses, the organic share is slightly higher at 22%. The organic quota is 8% for orchards and 7% for potatoes.


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