After the positive experience of expanding domestic production to the maximum in order to safeguard the food supply in the Second World War, greater importance has been attached to crop planning and storage for crisis situations in Switzerland than in neighbouring countries. The emergence of operational research meant that systems for the sole purpose of optimising calorie and nutrient supply became an integral component of crisis preparedness. Today’s international debate on food security, on the other hand, focuses on the dynamic price trends and price fluctuations of food, an aspect which has not as yet been incorporated into Swiss preventative strategy. However, the most recent food crises show that, especially for Switzerland, nominal supply failures are becoming increasing less likely than cardinal (i.e. fluid) supply constraints, in which price rises could become a supply problem for parts of the population. In order to gear Swiss nutritional planning to such crisis situations as well, price tre nds need to be included as a key variable in crisis planning.
The agricultural sector as an aggregate proved resilient to the COVID-19 shock. But how did it impact agribusiness firms within the sector? Using the Swiss case, we provide the first set of evidence on how agri-food importing firms survived the pandemic economically.
Agricultural economics research uses a multitude of methods and approaches to assess existing and new policy measures. This is the basis for agricultural policy that demonstrably makes a difference, i.e. is evidence-based.
Agroscope studied the changes in the agricultural sector over the past twenty years in three Swiss regions and compared them with the visions of three associations: Avenir Suisse, the Schweizer Bauernverband and Landwirtschaft mit Zukunft.