Swiss residents spent an average of CHF320 ($332) on organic products in 2017 retaining their world leading purchaser status, according to organic certification label Bio Suisse.
Organic food sales amounted to CHF2.7 billion last year, three-quarters of which came from the big Swiss supermarkets Coop and Migros. Organic produce made up 9% of the market share, with fresh products accounting for half of all sales. The top sellers – eggs, vegetables and fresh bread – made up 20% of the market share.
Half of all Swiss buy organic products daily or several times a week. But it is not just health-conscious consumers opting for the pesticide-free option.
A total of 279 new producers managed to obtain an organic certification label in 2017, bringing the number of organic farms in Switzerland and Liechtenstein to 6,906. Of these 6,423 fall under the Bio Suisse certification scheme.
While sales of organic produce may be on the rise in Switzerland, high prices remain an obstacle to faster growth of the sector. Switzerland’s price watchdog Stefan Meierhans is aware of the issue.
“Everything was organic decades ago. Now it’s always a special label and you have to pay a lot of money, and sometimes I think it’s very much overpriced. But as long as there is enough demand, that’s the rules of the market,” he told swissinfo in a recent interview.