How Switzerland plans to beat its butter shortage (again)

How Switzerland plans to beat its butter shortage (again)
Photo by Sorin Gheorghita on Unsplash
For the second time in less than six months, Switzerland is facing a butter shortage.

To beat the shortage, the Swiss government will temporarily relax its strict import rules to allow for more foreign butter to slide across Swiss borders. 


The Federal Office for Agriculture will rise the import quota by 1,800 tonnes – around four percent of annual consumption – from September 1st. 


Stocks in Augusts should be roughly 4000-5000 tonnes, however the current stockpile is at only 400 tonnes. 

Second lockdown in 2020

In a press release back in May, authorities said “for the first time in years, there is an insufficient supply of Swiss butter for the (local) market.”

“A shortage of butter supply, especially at the end of the year, must be prevented.”

From coffee to nuclear fuel: What you need to know to understand Switzerland's strategic stockpiles 


A cheesy excuse

Unlike other supply shortages experienced across the country in recent months, the lack of butter isn’t due only to the coronavirus – although plenty of lockdown-inspired baking is unlikely to help. 

The main reason for the shortage is a fall in butter production alongside a rise in consumption. 

Higher cheese production has meant that less milk fat has been available to produce butter in recent months. 

READ: Here's how Switzerland is planning to avoid coronavirus food shortages 

Milk producers make more money from cheese production than from butter, meaning that when butter’s turn comes around, the pail is dry (or at least a little too empty). 




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