In general, the intermediate conclusions concerning the reforms carried out with respect to agricultural policy so far are positive: clear improvements have been made from the point of view of ensuring sustainability, meeting the needs of the market and providing services for the benefit of the general public. At the same time, however, incomes in the agricultural sector have been stagnating. To ensure that agriculture can continue to fulfill the tasks in the future it is necessary to introduce further reforms. Accordingly, the next step of agricultural policy reform (AP 2011) will address the main challenges of the immediate future through a strategy which is based on five key activities. The main element of AP 2011 is to improve competitivity by redirecting over half the amount paid out as market subsidies and all export subsidies to direct payments. At the end of September 2005 the Federal Department of Economic Affairs launched the consultation process concerning AP 2011, which will continue until 16 December 2005.
How do farmers experience social sustainability on their farms? As an Agroscope study shows, this depends on farmers’ identities and farm types.
Cheese stands out as one of the main Swiss agricultural trade offensive interests. Outside the EU, the USA are an important export destination. The CAPRI model allows to assess the impact of a free trade agreement for cheese between the USA and CH.
Policies to reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions are more effective and more efficient if they are set at the regional level and not at the level of individual farms. This can help achieve climate targets.