In the dairy project in mountainous areas (ï¿½Mountain Milkï¿½) ran by the Swiss College of Agriculture family dairy farms and commercial dairy manufacturers had been coached with methods of action research .The clear objective of the project was defined in establishing a sustainable future for the participating families / manufacturers and their peers. Management instruments to develop, implement and control strategies were adapted to the practical use for farmers, cheese-manufacturers and consultants. The instruments were successfully deployed and optimized during practical training sessions. The individual strategy had been developed using the SWOT methodology. The operational planning and controlling concept was based on the BALANCED SCORECARD approach.The value chain describing the business as processes and overhead elements served as a basis for all involved analyzing, planning, illustrating and monitoring activities. The strategic assignment with the involved parties had been arranged as series of four structured on-site visits with intermediate phases of reflection and appraisal. At first the current business strategy had been identified and optimized based on detailed strategic analysis. Subsequently the implementation was launched and the controlling of the business strategy was prepared. In this phase the activities with the single businesses were completed with meetings in small groups, where the participating parties exchanged ideas and experiences for a more successful strategy implementation.
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.