Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

What would an organic Switzerland look like?

Switzerland‘s high purchasing power, natural site conditions, small-scale agricultural structure and political independence arguably make it more suitable than any other country for a conversion of entire regions to organic farming. The SWISSland forecast model is used to simulate a complete changeover to organic farming for the time period 2018–20, and to compare this with a continuation of Agricultural Policy 2014–17. A complete conversion to organic agriculture would cause a slight expansion in arable farming to the detriment of animal husbandry. The decline in the work force would be slowed, and the production of foodstuffs would drop by 17 per cent (grains) to 50 per cent (sugar beet). This lower production also puts in perspective the reduction of the environmental burden, such as a 42 % savings on energy expended in the agricultural sector. Switzerland’s total switchover to organic farming would only be economically sustainable if consumers supported it by paying higher prices for food rather than by largely replacing current PEP products with the consumption of conventionally produced imported goods.

To the archive