• Switzerland edition
 
Lower house votes for 60 percent Swissness

Lower house votes for 60 percent Swissness

Published: 16 Mar 2012 12:49 GMT+01:00
Updated: 16 Mar 2012 11:35 GMT+01:00

Switzerland's lower house voted on Thursday on amendments to the laws as to what constitutes a “Swiss made” product.

The National Council lawmakers sided with major industry players and opted for less stringent conditions than those required by the govermnent, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The issue has been brought to the table in order to prevent a watering down of the qualification of certain products sold as Swiss made, and to stop companies free-riding on the Swiss reputation for quality.

A recent customer survey found that people are willing to spend up to 20 percent more for products described as being Swiss made. The value of this description is thought to benefit Switzerland to the tune of nearly six billion francs ($6.27 billion) per year.

There is therefore a lot riding on the decision to alter the criteria required for a product to use the label.

The National Council voted by 101 to 68 to adopt a more industry-friendly set of conditions than those proposed by the government.

The bill requires that food producers need to ensure that 80 percent of raw materials in mildly processed foods such as yoghurt should come from Switzerland, although milk producers should ensure that 100 percent of their products are of Swiss origin.

This will have consequences for Swiss dairy company, Emmi, which sells “Swiss” yoghurts in the United States without a single drop of Swiss milk.

Highly processed foods, such as biscuits and chocolate, should in future contain at least 60 percent of Swiss raw foodstuffs, although an exception was made for products which contain foods that are either difficult to grow in Switzerland, such as cocoa, or are seasonal, such as cherries.

This is a departure from the recommendations by the government, which sought a minimum of 80 percent of Swiss-produced ingredients for food products.

The lower house also proposed that 60 percent of production costs should be incurred in Switzerland, and that 60 percent of the production of industrial products should take place in Switzerland. 

The bill will now proceed to the upper house. 

Lyssandra Sears (news@thelocal.ch)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Jailed Morsi aide's wife seeks UN help in Egypt
Photo: AFP

Jailed Morsi aide's wife seeks UN help in Egypt

The Canadian wife of an imprisoned former aide to deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is in Geneva this week seeking UN help to free her husband and end "horrific" rights abuses in Egypt. READ  

Swiss top two officially tapped for Davis Cup
Wawrinka and Federer at past Davis Cup competition. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Swiss top two officially tapped for Davis Cup

Switzerland captain Severin Lüthi will tap the star power of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka when the Alpine country faces Italy in next month's Davis Cup, Swiss Tennis announced on Wednesday. READ  

Worldwide damage from natural disasters drops
Swiss Re headquarters in Zurich. Photo: Swiss Re

Worldwide damage from natural disasters drops

Natural disasters caused total economic losses of $41 billion in the first six months of this year, much less than usual, reinsurance group Swiss Re estimated on Wednesday. READ  

Swiss consumer spending falls: report
Vehicle registrations rose but other consumer spending indicators dropped. Photo: AFP

Swiss consumer spending falls: report

Swiss consumer spending and sentiment dropped in July after reaching a six-year high in the previous month, UBS said in a report issued on Wednesday. READ  

Driver jailed for running over footballer — twice
Photo: Sukhjeet Batth

Driver jailed for running over footballer — twice

A 24-year-old man in Geneva is appealing a jail sentence of four years and six months for driving into a football player twice while drunk — the second time intentionally — causing injuries that forced the athlete to give up his career. READ  

Federer advances to US Open second round
Photo: Don Emmert/AFP

Federer advances to US Open second round

Switzerland's Roger Federer advanced to the second round of the US Open tennis tournament on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) victory over Australian Marinko Matosevic. READ  

Feud confirmed in mosque shooting death
Photo: Saint Gallen cantonal police

Feud confirmed in mosque shooting death

Police confirmed on Tuesday that the shooting death of a man in a mosque in the Swiss city of Saint Gallen last Friday was the result of a settling of accounts between two Albanian families. READ  

Zurich officials declare 'sex boxes' a success
Photo: City of Zurich

Zurich officials declare 'sex boxes' a success

Swiss authorities are basking in the afterglow of a decision to create a "sex drive-in" in Zurich, with social services hailing it a success on its first anniversary on Tuesday. READ  

WHO urges ban on e-cigarettes for minors
Photo: Jim Watson/AFP

WHO urges ban on e-cigarettes for minors

Governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, the Geneva-based World Health Organization said on Tuesday, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. READ  

Swiss officials deny Mafia arrests in Thurgau
Scene from Italian police video. Photo: YouTube

Swiss officials deny Mafia arrests in Thurgau

Justice officials in Bern are denying reports from Italian police that 16 alleged members of the Mafia were arrested in the town of Thurgau, a Swiss town, saying that investigations are still ongoing. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Health
Increase in mountain bike accidents keeps Swiss hospitals busy
National
Swiss policeman belatedly hailed for saving Jews from Holocaust
National
'Suicide tourists' to Switzerland double in three years: study
National
Swiss Post SMS scheme gets stamp of approval after pilot project
Business & Money
American tax evasion crackdown hits Swiss private banks' bottom line
Politics
Woman accuses Swiss politician in nude selfies scandal of lying
National
Villagers in Graubünden valley reject hydro plant to protect vultures
Business & Money
Court rules against appellation for absinthe from Neuchâtel valley
National
Two hundred passengers rescued after landslide derails Swiss train
Travel
Switzerland remains world champion for per capita train travel
Culture
Social media backlash forces Polanski to bow out of Locarno film festival
National
Two policemen identified among three Israelis killed in train crash
Features
Untouched Alps: The Local explores Switzerland's only national park
National
Swiss government secretary tweets nude ‘selfies’ taken at work
International
Swiss couples fined in Ibiza for making love in van without seatbelts
National
Schumacher medical record theft suspect hangs himself in Zurich cell
National
Thousands of motorists drive without permits in Switzerland: report
National
Switzerland celebrates the centennial of national park in Graubünden
National
Animal rights group protests over dead fish throwing at festival
National
Federer forced to tear down kids' play area at Graubünden holiday home
National
Zurich taxis charge world’s most expensive fares: new survey
National
Swiss bus driver charged with careless driving in fatal Norway crash
National
European Union rejects Swiss bid to rejig freedom of movement deal
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

2,074
jobs available