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Agricultural economics

Heiniger J., Hochuli A.

Direct marketing is widespread among organic farms in the Canton of Bern

Direct marketing in the agricultural sector is becoming increasingly important in Switzerland. Between 2010 and 2016, this business sector recorded an increase of 60 % across Switzerland, measured as the number of farms adopting this form of marketing. A cross-sectional comparison of the Canton of Bern was used to investigate the extent to which the…
Agricultural economics

Binder S., Mann St.

How do the cantons support their agricultural sector?

With an agricultural policy that is largely shaped by the Confederation, Switzerland’s federalist structures are only marginally noticeable. Even so, depending on their location, farms can take part in certain cantonal programmes whilst making use of the direct-payment instruments of the Confederation. With the aim of promoting and steering regional agriculture according to local needs,…
Agricultural economics

Fry P., Mettler D., Jakob F., Brugger M., Flückiger E.

Social learning: videos put across success factors for marketing regional products

As part of a «by farmers to farmers» project, authentic films have been produced and used in the networks in collaboration with a support group from research, administration and practice. In making these films, the «social learning video» method was applied. The purpose of these films is to motivate farmers to implement new regional marketing…
Agricultural economics

Mann S., Stoinescu A., Nüssli S.-M., Spycher L.

Communal alpine pastures: between commons and incentive

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…
Agricultural economics

Mack G., Heitkämper K., El Benni N.

What factors influence the perception of administrative work?

When it comes to developing recommendations for action for limiting administrative work, knowledge about both the perception of work and the actual work is important. This topic was investigated using the example of the Programme for the Promotion of Grassland-Based Milk and Meat Production (GMMP). A survey of 892 farmers revealed that the perception of…
Agricultural economics

Chandrapalan R., Zorn A., Lips M.

Profitability of para-agricultural activities

Using cost/performance calculations, the profitability of four para-agricultural activities (contracted work for third parties, direct marketing, tourism and services) is investigated, with labour utilisation, i.e. the resultant hourly wage, serving as a criterion. With a focus on farm activities with a gross performance of between CHF 10,000 and CHF 100,000, there are 2339 observations available…
Agricultural economics

Hidber E., Janssens Th., Pidoux M., Götze F.

Market analysis of the Swiss fish value chain

In 2016, 75,791 metric tons of fish and seafood were sold in Switzerland, 1,679 metric tons of which were domestically produced. Per capita consumption stood at 9.1 kg and had increased by approximately 60% over the 25 years prior. The present market analysis of the Swiss fish value chain describes the status quo of the…
Agricultural economics

Möhring A., Mack G., Zimmermann A., Mann St., Ferjani A.

Food security payments: refining objectives and using resources more efficiently

Since 2014, the Swiss Confederation has made food-supply security payments to ensure the reliable supply of food to the population. At CHF 1.1 billion per annum, these account for a large proportion of direct payments. Agroscope has now tested the effectiveness of this instrument on behalf of the Federal Office for Agriculture, and is proposing…
Agricultural economics

Böcker Th., Finger R.

Implications of herbicide-free Extenso wheat cultivation in Switzerland

Various stakeholders are searching for ways to reduce herbicide use on farms. The implications of such measures, however, are often unknown. This article makes use of a bio-economic model to analyse how plant-protection strategies, yields and contribution margins change in Swiss Extenso winter-wheat cultivation if i) neither glyphosate and ii) nor other herbicides are used.…
Agricultural economics

Hochuli A., Raemy D., Hofer H., Flückiger D.

Swiss private-label branded beef: brand credibility and consumer trust

Ethologically and ecologically sound production methods, brand awareness and brand credibility are all preconditions for the production of high-quality beef and veal. The market research results presented here show that certain consumer segments more frequently consume Swiss private label branded beef if high production standards in terms of animal welfare, ecology and pasture grazing are…
Agricultural economics

Gazzarin Ch., Haas Th., Hofstetter P., Höltschi M.

Milk production: fresh grass with low concentrates pays off

Many Swiss dairy farmers use variable proportions of fresh grass (forage or grazing) and supplementary feed in their production. Which characteristics are economically successful in these fresh grass systems? This question was addressed in the project «Optimisation of grassland- based milk production systems based on forage (Hohenrain II)» conducted on 36 pilot farms over three…
Agricultural economics

Gazzarin Ch., Schmid D.

Profitability of different production orientations in the mountain region

The profitability of mountain agriculture is of particular interest, since the multifunctional services rendered at higher effort are recompensed with a comparatively low income, despite the fact that substantial direct payments are disbursed. Based on reference farms from the Farm Accountancy Data Network (2013–2014), ten farms are categorised and the cost-efficiency of the various types…
Agricultural economics

Eiselen B., Pidoux M.

Future strategies for a dynamic agriculture in French-speaking Switzerland

Agriculture in Western Switzerland is characterised by its broad diversity. For the purposes of this study, Western Switzerland comprises the cantons in which French is spoken (Vaud, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Valais, Fribourg, Jura) and the Bernese Jura region. The aim is to develop global future strategies for this agriculture. In a participatory process with the actors…
Agricultural economics

Stolz H., Blattert S., Rebholz Th., Stolze M.

Swiss organic barometer: determinants of organic food buying behaviour

Purchasing decisions have a decisive influence on the demand for organic food. In November 2015, the «Biobarometer Schweiz» study (organic barometer Switzerland) surveyed consumers’ purchasing behaviour, using a standardized questionnaire. The aim of the survey was to investigate the factors determining organic food buying behaviour and to determine which aspects are relevant in consumer communication.…
Agricultural economics

Meier B., von Grünigen S.

Participation in eco-programmes has no clear-cut influence on full-cost coverage

in ecological and landscape conservation programmes and the recompense of all production factors used on the farms is investigated using full-cost calculations. Accountancy data and an allocation of the overhead costs using keys based on the composition of a farm’s gross output constitute the underlying data of the study. The analytical value-added of the full-cost…
Agricultural economics

Huber R., Flury C.

Heterogeneity in compliance costs of agri-environmental measures

In Switzerland, farmer’s compliance costs of participating in voluntary agri-environmental measures are supposed to be compensated by direct payments. Information about these compliance costs can inform policy makers about the effectiveness and efficiency of the corresponding policy scheme. In this study, we calculate average compliance costs based on full-cost accounting and Monte-Carlo simulation of payments…

What do ecological and landscape conservation services cost?

Participation in voluntary ecological or landscape conservation programmes incurs production and opportunity costs which can vary significantly depending on farm structure and region. Precise knowledge about the level of the individual-farm performance costs helps agricultural-policy decisionmakers to set and calculate direct-payment contributions for the programmes in a focused manner. This paper quantifies the performance costs…
Agricultural economics

Heitkämper K., Umstätter Ch., Schick M.

Administrative simplification in agriculture: analysis and optimisation approaches

In addition to their own record-keeping as part of management and planning activities, farmers are nowadays obliged to record data and fill in forms for statistical purposes as well as for the disbursement of government or label-related funding. Two surveys of 26 Swiss farms with different agricultural activities conducted in 2012 and 2015 revealed that…
Agricultural economics

Hochuli A., Huber M., Hofstetter P.

Guest segments for agritourism

Knowledge of guest needs is the prerequisite for the market-oriented design of tourist offerings. Using cluster analysis, the guest segments (clusters) for agritourism in Switzerland were first identified in terms of distinct needs. The classification of the six clusters was based on a survey of 655 potential guests of agritourism enterprises. The six guest segments…
Agricultural economics

Zorn A., Lips M.

Profitability of domestic grain legumes

The profitability of growing grain legumes in Switzerland is of interest when discussing the importation of feed. Cost/performance calculations on a full-cost basis for soya, field beans, protein peas and lupins yield a realised hourly rate or work monetisation of at least CHF 37.–, assuming efficient management on three-hectare plots. This work monetisation is comparable…
Agricultural economics

Umstätter Ch., Stark R., Schmid D., Schick M.

Effect of technological progress on working time in agriculture

This study addresses the influence of technological progress on the annual working hours of Swiss farmers in the years 2003 and 2012. The analysis of standard labour contracts for agricultural employees in Switzerland as well as a study of the literature revealed that the weekly working time for agricultural activities in most countries comes to…
Agricultural economics

Lips A., Hoop D.

Standard labour unit: factors for para-agricultural activities

Factors for calculating standard labour units (SLUs) are derived from cost/ performance calculations for paraagricultural activities found in business- management literature. The SLU factors specify the necessary labour input per CHF 10 000 of volume of sales or turnover, with three activity categories being distinguished. Leisure time and educational activities on the farm are highly…
Agricultural economics

Mann S., Erdin D.

Grades or labels? Beef prices and quality

The difference between quality grades and quality labels is that the latter are awarded on the basis of production processes, whilst the former are conferred on the strength of the actual production results. In the course of a de-ideologisation of society, it might be assumed that the price differences between quality grades would grow larger…