Home Institution

Washington University in St. Louis

Publication Date

Spring 2009

Program Name

Switzerland: Development Studies and Public Health


The organic food movement in Switzerland owes its success to the trust relationship among producers, retailers and consumers alike. The higher quality of organic food compared to those of neighboring countries, as well as the visible effort to maintain the quality with highly-recognized label certification scheme, allowed organic food to find a secure niche in supermarket shelves despite a higher price in an already expensive country. The market structure—Bio Suisse as an association of organic producers who set the criteria, and separate institutions for each research, inspection and distribution—maintains the careful balance in the market which explains the stability of this market even in the face of economic crisis. The change to existing system is nonetheless inevitable, for Swiss organic movement to have continuous future development. The partnership Bio Suisse has with other institutions should be strengthened and it should further seek out other local institutional capacities, for instance, cantonal agricultural schools, to disseminate the organic farming techniques more effectively, while diversifying the retail system to increase accessibility to a larger population and facilitate direct contacts between producers and consumers.


Agricultural and Resource Economics | Environmental Sciences


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