The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Growing dissatisfaction in the Swiss agricultural sector

Dissatisfaction has been growing in the Swiss agricultural sector for several months. "We have the same problems as Germany and France," said Francis Egger, Vice President of the Swiss Farmers' Union (SBV), to the Keystone-SDA news agency. Farmers' protests are also possible, but would not be effective in Switzerland.

"Incomes are too low and we have an administrative overload in the agricultural sector," said Egger. The result is a "lack of orientation". More and more is being done, but more and more is being criticized.

The most urgent thing for Swiss agriculture is an improvement in the economic situation, according to the SBC Vice President. "We work for an average of 17 francs per hour". Young people in particular must be given prospects for the future.

The entire sector is affected by price pressure, Egger continued. "You can ask yourself whether the wholesalers or the consumers are responsible for this. We are in a situation in which the purchase of products with a seal of quality is declining in order to get cheap products at low prices".

The market must function with prices that cover production costs. The Federal Council envisages a reduction of CHF 347 million in the 2026-29 framework credit for agriculture. This is unacceptable to the SBC in light of increasing demands.

Farmers' protests also possible in Switzerland

Agricultural policy has become more complex and is now reaching a limit, he continued. In Switzerland, too, there is a risk of farmers blocking roads with their tractors, said the Fribourg native. "We don't want that in Switzerland. The law must be respected here".

According to Egger, agriculture now needs a signal from politics and society that shows that there will be improvements in income and simplifications in administration.

©Keystone/SDA

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