Within the ISAFRUIT project, important production-related (for example yield and grading results) and economic (working hours and producer prices) dimensions were compared between Switzerland and main apple growing EU countries. Producer prices and labor costs are higher in Switzerland than in European Union. Apple surfaces per farm are clearly smaller in Switzerland. Dependent on the cultivar, yield and grading results may differ between Switzerland and the EU countries considered.
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.