Sales of organic produce are on the rise in Switzerland after a two-year slow down in the marketplace. Sales increased 7.7% in 2007 to SFr1.29 billion ($1.3 billion), according to the annual report for the organic farming umbrella association Bio Suisse released on Thursday. Among the biggest sellers were meat, vegetables and drinks. But overall organic products only accounted for 4.6% of total food sales.
Demand was highest in French-speaking western Switzerland, with nine per cent more sales than in 2006, and meat sales up by a fifth. Bio Suisse said the unpredictable weather and the rise in demand had led to a general shortfall in supplies and the market could benefit from another several hundred organic farms. Switzerland had 6,249 organic farms last year, 11.3% of all farming organisations in the country. While 220 farms gave up organic farming in 2007 because of restructuring and the strict regulations required, another 99 farmers announced they were coming back to the fold.