Farmers are warning if the upcoming initiative on drinking water and pesticides use passes, there won’t be enough domestic beef and milk production to satisfy local demand and more would have to be imported.
The vote due early next month would ban farmers from using any water or feed that can’t be produced on their land – or they would not get the government subsidies.
The pandemic is pushing domestic production to the limit as fewer people are crossing the borders to do their shopping. Already demand for Swiss cheese is now so large, there isn’t enough milk left to make butter – which is now being imported.
It will also hit beef production as farms will not be able to raise as many cattle, say the farmers.
They add, if the initiative passes it would mean more imports and fewer Swiss farms.
But the backers of the initiative say that’s the point. They claim there’s too much livestock which is affecting soil quality and hitting biodiversity.