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Swiss are top purchasers of organic products worldwide

Workers from Poland pick organically grown lettuce in a field in western Switzerland Keystone

Organic products are gaining in popularity in Switzerland, where organic farms and consumers of organic products are on the rise.

On average, Swiss consumers spent CHF280 ($293) per person on organic products in 2015 – the highest per capita spending worldwide. According to Bio Suisse, the umbrella organization for organic farmers, 46% of Swiss shoppers buy organic products on a weekly basis and 72% buy organic several times per month.

The most popular organic products in Switzerland were eggs, fresh bread and vegetables.

In the past year both the number of organic farms and the number of people buying organic products have increased, says Bio Suisse. In 2015, there were 6,031 organic producers in the country – 52 more than in the previous year. Sales increased by 5.2% to more than CHF2.3 billion ($2.4 billion) and a market share of 7.7% – the highest ever. Benefitting most from the trend are the wholesalers.

Growth was largely driven by large retailers like Coop and Migros. But in small specialty organic food stores, sales stagnated.

In contrast to other sectors, the organic market was only marginally affected by the strong Swiss franc and shopping tourism. According to Bio Suisse, many consumers of organic products want to buy local products and to cut down on CO2 emissions.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR