Is Switzerland giving up traditional cheese production? Swiss Cheese Market March 2023
Cheese exports are disastrous at -8% at the end of March. The hardest hit are: Gruyere -17%, Emmentaler - 13%, Switzerland Swiss - 11%, Appenzeller -6%, Tete de Moîne -6%, Raclette -1% only the other semi-hard and hard cheeses increased by +4%.
Swiss cheese production and sales continued to deteriorate in March. As in the years 2010 - 2022, the big varieties, above all Gruyere, are suffering the most. The assumption here is that prices were raised too much last year.
The smaller varieties are still holding up well, and Raclette has not lost too much ground, which is all the more surprising as their sales are only supported subsidiarily by the government. The large varieties are advertised every year with subsidies amounting to millions and are nevertheless declining. A critical review of these subsidies by politicians would certainly be appropriate.
Is Switzerland giving up traditional cheese production?
We note that the production of milk powder has been steadily increasing since the lowest point. This year this growth has reached a new dimension with +16%. A development that can be explained by the ongoing increase in subsidies for milk powder. These subsidies are no longer distributed directly by the state, but by the branch organisations and are thus largely removed from political control.
It is important to be aware of the consequences. This policy causes milk to be withdrawn from cheese dairies and consequently cheese production decreases. We are already seeing overcapacity in cheese production and more and more local cheese dairies are struggling to survive.
Rural cheese dairies are important for the quality of traditional Swiss cheeses; they process the milk quickly without long transport routes.
Thank you very much Your affineur Walo