However, in some cases, this description falls short of the reality, newspaper La Tribune de Genève reports. For example, while Switzerland is known for being a land of watchmakers, often two thirds of the parts for any one watch are imported from China.
Only the watch mechanism, the assembly of parts and the final inspection need to take place in Switzerland to earn the label “Swiss made”, president of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Jean-Daniel Pasche, said.
Some foods, marketed as being Swiss and adorned with Swiss logos, are in fact imported from Germany, such as Aldi’s Jambon Cru des Grisons, or from New Zealand, such as La Table Suisse’s lamb fillets. The facts are printed on the labels, in small print.
Even luxury Swiss make-up and skincare brand, La Prairie, manufactures its products abroad, in Germany or the United States.
The National Council will debate the issues on March 15th 2012, and will determine which conditions will be required in future for a company to describe its products as being “Swiss made”. In the meantime, many Swiss companies are holding their breaths.