Process Management

News 211 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Switzerland ideal for cereal production

The security of the supply, exceptional quality in protein content of Swiss cereals and engagement in favour of the environment plead for a strong indigenous production, according to an article in the Swiss Agri weekly.

Switzerland is a cereal country. On a surface covering nearly 60% of the rural area, the cereals unquestionably represent one of the pillars of Swiss agriculture, for the production of bread and animal feed. Cereal crops in Switzerland contribute largely to a secure food supply. Without indigenous production, Switzerland would be forced to import bread grains in a volume of 450 000 tonnes and 850,000 tonnes of feed grains. This hypothetical situation would be particularly painful in a situation with low global stocks and the biofuel industry being a serious competitor for raw materials.

Quantity and quality
Production of cereals in Switzerland does not have to limit itself to quantitative considerations. Indeed, the quality of the cereals, thanks to decent Swiss agronomic research, constitutes a major asset. "Our cereals are champions of Europe in protein content and certain varieties are even cultivated in New Zealand and Latin America. This exceptional quality contributes to the manufacture of foodstuffs of excellent quality"' the article in Agri said.

Environmental considerations
Swiss farmers have committed themselves using methods of production respecting the environment. Today, more than 98% of Swiss cereals fill specific growth requirements and almost half of surface is cultivated according to strict rules of the extensive production.

GMOs are out of the question. The five years moratorium adopted in November 2005 guarantees a reduction in use of GMO crops, whereas USA, Brazil and Argentina see their planting of GMO crops increasing continuously. The article in Agri sums up two more major reasons why cereals are so important to Switzerland: one, the crops contribute to the diversity of the landscape, an important issue in a country that needs tourist and two, the sector provides a job to 40,000 people upstream and downstream in the chain, not mentioning the 2,000 Swiss cereal producers.

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