This article provides an overview of the research that has so far been carried out to assess the level of sustainability of Swiss farms. The presented methods were analysed with the aid of defined criteria to examine if they serve the aim of assessing the sustainability of farms on a broad basis. The analysis shows that the two major methods of sustainability assessment in the agricultural sector at micro-level (FAT sustainability indicator and RISE method) meet the majority of the defined criteria but are not necessarily suitable to carry out a large-scale survey. An assessment on a large basis and at low costs would require methodological development. The crucial requirement is that the developed method is able to indicate if the farm has achieved the highest possible contribution to sustainability.
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.
Global food availability is expected to remain stable in the medium term. Food security challenges in Switzerland include the decline in agricultural land area per capita, higher incidence of extreme weather events and increased pressure from pests.
Different cultural backgrounds lead to different uptake of biodiversity agri-environmental schemes at the inner-Swiss French-German language border. Economic policy incentives could mitigate culture-driven behavioral differences.