The Swiss Association of Fruit, Vegetables and Potato Traders, SWISSCOFEL, used this year’s Fruit Logistica in Berlin to discuss the issues the industry faces. Manager Marc Wermelinger explains: “Overall the consumption of fruit and vegetables in Switzerland is stable. An important topic that concerns us is ‘regionalism.’ Consumers desire products from their own region. This is good for the Swiss trade and our producers. Grocery discounters caught on to this too and are using regional products as a marketing strategy.”
Manager Marc Wermelinger at Fruit Logistica 2016
Shift in prices
An important issue for the Swiss trade is the shift in prices. “That will be an issue in 2016,” states Marc Wermelinger, “The price differences are sometimes quite large and many Swiss consumers near the borders shop in neighboring countries.” The previous year the Swiss National Bank decided to increase the minimum course of the Swiss Franc to 1.20 Euro. This caused a clear increase in value of Swiss currency compared to the Euro.
The SWISSCOFEL manager is very satisfied with the Swiss harvests: “The industry takes care to harvest market-oriented and don’t create surpluses. Due to this attitude the price situation is stable in Switzerland. And until now the storage production is very good too.” The association has positive reports especially for soft fruit. “Last season the soft fruit harvest has been above average,” says Wermelinger, “We have to continue in this way.” Particularly blueberries are popular with customers.”
Several products are influenced by the demographic change in Switzerland. Marc Wermelinger explains: “We noticed that certain plum varieties (zwetschge) suffer from the demographic change. The consumption has clearly decreased. Young consumers rather choose other products. We have to keep an eye on this development.” The effects of the warm winter are still unclear. “Due to the high temperatures pests can easily survive. That could result in an even larger problem with the Drosophila suzukii this summer.”
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