The demand for organic food is high. Yet before a product can be labelled "organic", it must meet a host of legal requirements, guidelines and rules related to its origin and processing.
To be awarded an "organic" label, a product must meet the basic requirements of the country-specific organic regulations. The principles of the Swiss and European organic farming regulations are practically identical and include, among other things, compliance with natural cycles, the avoidance of synthetic and chemical additives and ingredients, and a ban on the use of genetically modified organisms.
Organic agricultural ingredients must be used for the production of organic food. At least 95 per cent of the agricultural ingredients must be organically farmed for the end product to carry an "organic" label.
In addition to legal requirements and agreements, there are additional organic standards governed by private law. In some cases these requirements are even higher than those of the organic regulations. As well as meeting these "organic" standards, organic baby food must also comply with the strict laws and guidelines of food law.
In Switzerland, women are the main purchasers of organic products. There are also clear differences within the different language regions: more organic foods are purchased in German-speaking Switzerland than in the French and Italian regions. The level of education and income bracket of purchasers also plays a role: the higher the educational level, the more often organic products are purchased. However, the consumption of organic products above a certain level is no longer income-dependent. While there is a continuous increase in the middle income classes, organic consumption decreases again in the upper income classes. Age does not influence organic food consumption.
The growth rate is particularly high in China, North America and northern Europe. In Germany it was just under 10 per cent in 2016; in France it even reached 20 per cent. Countries such as Spain, Ireland and Sweden had already experienced the same growth a year earlier and Switzerland has also broken previous records. The turnover of organic food increased by 8.1 per cent from 2016 to 2017 and now accounts for a total volume of CHF 2.7 billion.