Switzerland may become a net importer of milk for the first time – Kommersant

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Despite the popularity of Swiss cheeses around the world, it is becoming increasingly unprofitable to produce it. The current level of milk prices in the country does not allow dairy farms to cover production costs, and therefore they are forced to close. If the current situation does not change, Switzerland will soon have to buy milk and cheeses, which in itself is “absurd”, said in an interview with the newspaper Le Temps President of the Federation of Dairy Producers Boris Boere.

Cheese consumption in Switzerland in 2022 amounted to 22.9 kg per year per inhabitant of the country. This is 300 g less than in 2021. However, over the past 15 years, this figure has grown by 10%. However, the growing demand is increasingly being met not by local producers, but by foreign ones, who produce much cheaper varieties of cheeses. As a result, since 2007 the share of Swiss cheese producers in the local market has decreased by 12%.

“If we do nothing, we will have to import milk,” Mr. Boehre said. He noted that this is contrary to common sense, since Switzerland, compared to other countries, is a “milk-oriented country”, 80% of whose agricultural territories are meadows. Nevertheless, Mr. Boere notes, it is easier for local retail chains to buy foreign products, which are cheaper. And the rise in inflation in Europe has forced consumers to look more often at less expensive varieties of cheese.

Formerly Philippe Bardet, head of the Gruyère Cheese Organization known as IPG, informedthat Gruyère cheese production will fall by 10% this year, and its exports by 10-15%.

Kirill Sarkhanyants

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