Communal alpine pastures are a popular subject for the study of collective economic activity, despite the fact that there is very little empirical material available on which to base this study. In order to create a broader empirical foundation, five alpine pastures were visited whose organisation and economic processes were tracked by means of participatory observation and interviews. The pastures were shown to have great organisational breadth, consisting not just of cooperatives and corporations, but also of different combinations of these two organisational structures. There were also differences in terms of membership structure, which in some cases included all the inhabitants of a particular place, and in others was markedly more exclusive. Particularly in the field of action of hired shepherds, negotiation processes resulted in successfully functioning incentive structures controlling both the behaviour of the shepherds and that of the year-round farms.The biggest problems were usually experienced by stakeholders when investment needs had to be covered.
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.
The pandemic has influenced not only our everyday life but also our behaviour. Agroscope looked at which population groups and behaviours experienced or underwent particularly significant changes, and what this means for our health.