The organic food market in Switzerland experienced slower growth in 2021 than the previous year. However, consumers are spending more than ever on organic products.
According to annual figures released by the organic food association Bio Suisse on Wednesday, the market for organic products grew 0.6% in 2021 to reach a share of 10.9% of the total market. In 2020, the association recorded a 4% growth in organic sales.
One of the reasons for the slower growth is that consumers ate out in restaurants more and bought less organic products for cooking at home than in the first pandemic year, a spokesman for the association told the Keystone-SDA agency.
Despite slower growth, organic sales exceeded CHF4 billion ($4.29 billion) for the first time. In 2020, the organic market reached CHF3.9 billion. Consumers in Switzerland spent more on a per capita basis on organic products. This amounted to CHF459 per person in 2021 compared with CHF445 in 2020.
Eggs remained the most popular organic products with 29.2% of the egg market, followed by bread (26.3%) and vegetables (23.8%). Dairy products represent the largest share when it comes to sales with CHF405 million, the same level as in 2020.
Need for more organic production
The share of land area that is farmed organically increased slightly to 17% but the number of new farms had decreased compared to previous years.
In 2021, around 7,473 farms (16.8% of farms) were operating according to Bio Suisse standards in 2021. Almost two thirds of these were in southeastern Switzerland. Only 23 additional farms were set up, which is lower than in previous years. This is in part due to a “generation change that is currently underway and is leading to more operational closures than in previous years,” writes Bio Suisse in a statementExternal link.
As organic becomes more popular, Bio Suisse says that it has intensified its search for farms interested in producing according to its standards.
In compliance with the JTI standards