Organics in Switzerland | The pioneers of organics in Switzerland were Hans and Maria Müller and Hans Peter Rusch (see Rusch-Muller) in the 1940s. From 1974 the FiBL research institute began studying the effects of organic and Biodynamic farming. In 1981 what is now Bio Suisse, an association of Swiss organic farming organizations, was founded. The Swiss Association of Organic Wine Growers is called BioVin Suisse. Consumer demand and state support contribute to an expansion of organic farms in the 1990s. In 1993 Coop Schweiz started selling organic foods under its NATURplan private label in 1993 (this is one of two major Swiss supermarkets, the other being Migros). The National Swiss Regulation on Organic Farming came into force in 1998, and delegates certification to private companies.

In March 2001 95,000 ha of Swiss farmland was certified organic (9% of Swiss farmland and 5,814 organic farms, 9.5% of the total, which is the highest percentage in the world). Most of the organic farmland is in the mountainous regions with the alpine regions of Graubunden (43%) and Glarus (22%) having the highest percentage of organic farmland. The least organic areas are in the west where arable farms and horticulture dominate. Nearly 100% of Swiss organic dairy products are home produced; but the figure is only 60-70% (of raw material) for cereals.

In 2004 around 10% of Swiss farms (6,000 farms) were organic.

Bibliography

Amarjit Sahota, ‘Organic Heartland’, Organic Buisness Feb 2002, p34-35.