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Swiss organic food sales continue to blossom

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Swiss organic food sales continue to blossom
Crop of organic soy beans. Photo: HiBL/Bio Suisse
21:51 CEST+02:00
Sales of organic food continue to flourish in Switzerland, with revenues in 2014 rising 7.5 percent from the previous year to more than 2.2 billion francs ($2.06 billion), Swiss broadcaster RTS says.

Despite the significantly higher price for organic products — produced without the use of chemicals and additives — more and more Swiss are opting to buy them, RTS said in a report.

Organic tomatoes, for example, currently sell for around seven francs ($7.33) a kilogram, almost 50 percent more than conventional tomatoes, the report said.

Organically produced rib steak is selling for 80 francs a kilogram, about 30 percent more than the non-organic equivalent, RTS said.

Still, one in three Swiss are now buying organic food several times a week, which has allowed the Swiss market for such food to double in the past decade, the broadcaster said.

The number of organic farmers rose to 6,387 last year, Bio Suisse, the principal organization for Swiss organic producers, said in a report released earlier this year.

The organization’s members accounted for 5,979 producers, 95 more than in 2013, the group said.

The increase came despite an overall two drop in the number of Swiss farmers.

Organic accounted for 7.1 percent of the overall Swiss market for food in 2014, up from 6.9 percent the previous year, Bio Suisse said.

Coop, the national cooperative retailer, is driving the increase in sales,  followed by rival Migros and specialized greengrocers, the RTS report said.

The report said residents of German-speaking cantons are leading the way when it comes to buying organic products.

In the eastern German-speaking canton of Graubünden, for example, more than one in two farmers produces organic food without additives or chemicals, it said.

Relatively few farmers are following suit in French-speaking cantons such as Geneva, Vaud and Fribourg (5.5 percent), while the national average is 12.4 percent.
 

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