Defining Swissness To be, or not to be, Swiss made


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Products using the ‘Swiss Made’ label have to meet stricter criteria since the beginning of the year. The goal is to better protect the use of the ‘Swiss’ name in product packaging. (RTS/swissinfo.ch)

If products want to carry the famous Swiss cross in future, they will have to fulfil two criteria. They have to be manufactured in Switzerland - and 80% of the ingredients or materials must be made in the country. Many Swiss manufacturers are still working on fulfilling the new requirements. Biscuit producer Hug has already switched from imported to local sugar. The company has spent two years testing different kinds of the natural ingredient to get the best results.

The ready-made cheese fondue from Gerber can continue carrying the Swiss label, even though it fails to reach the 80% mark. That’s because the cheese mix includes imported white wine. Gerber claims it was impossible to find 35 million litres of wine in Switzerland of the right quality to be able to make the product at home. Gerber is now considered an exception by the authorities. The wine is one of 58 ingredients on a temporary list of exceptions. Either they are currently not available in Switzerland or they don’t comply with industrial standards. 

Swiss chocolate producers and watchmakers have also been granted special terms. Chocolate must only be made in Switzerland to retain the Swiss made label. In other words, Swiss manufacturers will not be forced to grow cacao trees in greenhouses on Swiss soil.

And the watch industry has been given a 60% minimum requirement for the origin of its parts.