The importance of agriculture within the regional economy consists not only of the direct employment and added value generated, but also of the effects it has on the rest of the economy. A quantitative survey in four mountain regions in Switzerland shows that basically, that part of agriculture’s contribution to rural development over and above land-use could be de-linked from production. In many regions, support for this employment is inefficient since the costs generated by agriculture are probably higher than those resulting from the creation of alternative employment opportunities. Those regions with a distinct agrarian character in which it is hardly possible to create jobs outside of agriculture are an exception.
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.