Alpine products are niche products that generate public interest. In an investigation of the supply situation in six Swiss case study regions, 262 producers from summering farms were surveyed. The results show that the most important of the produced and marketed alpine products is alpine cheese, which is often sold directly to consumers and in small quantities. While production of alpine cheese in Switzerland has increased in the past years, the variety of alpine products on offer has remained stable in 85 % of the participating summer farms. Apart from the traditional alpine gastronomy, few services are provided by summer farms. Tradition and livestock are the most important reasons for the production of alpine products. The cooperation rate of farms in the production and marketing of alpine products is low. Although 63 % of the producers find it important to differentiate «Alpine» and «Mountain» products, only 31 % agree upon the desirability of establishing a label for alpine products. Overall, the supply side tends to cling to tradition, yet potential for extension and further development exists.
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.