Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf

Farmers' and experts' attitudes towards the new agricultural policy

The new Swiss Agricultural Policy 2014–2017 (AP 14–17) is designed to better compensate farmers for their production of common goods such as ecosystem services. We investigated the attitudes of Swiss farmers towards this new political measure and towards the trend of the increasing ecological performance of agriculture. In addition, we studied the expectations of farmers concerning farm adjustments resulting from the new AP 14–17. A written survey was administered to farmers, and, for comparison, a similar questionnaire was sent to a sample of qualified agricultural experts. Amongst other conclusions, this study demonstrated that the ecological tolerance of the surveyed farmers is quite high, whereas their satisfaction with the new agricultural policy is fairly low. With respect to ecological issues, farmers opt for quality over quantity, and they do not plan to reduce animal numbers. This study serves as a basis for further political discussion of AP 14–17 and its implementation.

To the archive