This paper examines the relevance, environment, key-characteristics and success factors of organic marketing initiatives in Switzerland. Although most initiatives have a similar principal business idea (bundling, processing and/or collective marketing of organic primary products), they can be highly diverse with regard to their objectives, their business strategies and philosophy, as well as their size and economic power. The analysis of the market environment showed, that the market growth has slowed down. The direct economic impact of such initiatives on the region is rather marginal, but they can contribute to an improvement of soft development factors. The success of such project depends highly on the ability to build up necessary skills as well as if a key-person is able to push the project forward. New market potentials are seen in product and customer-specific marketing measures.
To balance their nutrient cycles, Swiss farms export surplus farmyard manure to farms with free uptake capacities or to composting and anaerobic digestion facilities. Between 2015 and 2020 the volumes of organic manure and recycled fertilisers transported rose significantly, with a consequent increase in transport costs.
Employment in the agricultural sector is declining in many European countries, especially in livestock farming. Direct payments can counter this trend and lead to the employment of more – especially female – family members on the farm.
Despite the current challenges of e.g. the war in Ukraine and climate change, the Swiss food sector is relatively resilient. This is the conclusion reached by Agroscope’s report on behalf of the Swiss Federal Office for National Economic Supply.