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Abstract

Organic farming has rapidly grown in Switzerland in the past years. It is now well established in agriculture and accepted by consumers. However, recent developments show declining growth rates. This raises the question of the future that can be expected for organic farming in Switzerland. Future trends and potentials of organic farming in Switzerland made subject of two diploma theses in which prospects of the dairy and livestock sector and the fruit and vegetable sector were analysed. With a linear optimization model (farm level), taking into account probable future conditions, the development of supply was estimated. The future evolution of consumer demand was assessed by the means of a qualitative analysis. The analysis of supply and demand showed that there will be structural changes and that a future growth of the organic market is questionable. The problem does not mainly lie in the expected trend of consumer demand but rather in the development of the supply of organic products in Switzerland. In contrast to alternative production systems, organic farming is more labour-intensive, which results in higher per unit production costs. Due to the increasing abolishing of protective measures in the agricultural sector, product prices will continue to decrease. Therefore it is questionable if domestic demand for organic products can be fully met by local production.

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