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Old 28.09.2007, 05:04
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A cheesy tale ... from The Economist

A few weeks ago, as I recall, I read an article on Swissinfo.com about the planned liberalization of the cheese trade. Yawn ...

Today I read a very well written article by Charlemagne in The Economist on A Cheesy Tale -- Swiss cheese offers a surprising model for European agricultural reform. Those of you living near a border will appreciate this quote:
Quote:
This ended years of import barriers that doubled the cost of some EU cheese on Swiss shelves, as well as export subsidies that dumped half-priced Emmental in places like Italy (thus, in a final lunacy, luring thrifty Swiss housewives to cross the border to buy their cheese).
Not only thirfy Swiss howsewives, but also many expats
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Old 28.09.2007, 08:56
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Re: A cheesy tale ... from The Economist

Could this mean that there will one day be a decent range of British cheeses in the Migros ?
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Old 28.09.2007, 10:37
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Re: A cheesy tale ... from The Economist

Quote:
Reduced to its essence, the Swiss bet is this: if your country is a (very) expensive place to make cheese, it is better to head upmarket and seek out new, rich customers than to deploy subsidies and tariffs to compete artificially on price.
I don't know if this will work for the majority of cheese producers. Of course it is the standard strategy for Swiss producers, but in this case the home market buys a fair share of high quality cheeses and the goods are often perishable.

Also I don't think it is very easy to create good brands of Swiss cheese. There recently was a court case against a cheese producer who exported "Swiss Emmentaler" (if memory serves right) to Austria. The cheese wasn't made of raw milk which is a requirement in Switzerland but not in the EU. The exporter won.

This also means that the Swiss housewives who buyed their Swiss cheese across the border sometimes buy products of inferior quality.

And when I look at the low-priced cheese in Migros and Coop I wonder if the gap between high and low prices is too big to be compensated with quality and branding strategies.
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Old 28.09.2007, 11:45
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Re: A cheesy tale ... from The Economist

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Could this mean that there will one day be a decent range of British cheeses in the Migros ?
Hopefully not. This is one of the reasons why I left Blighty...
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Old 28.09.2007, 11:55
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Re: A cheesy tale ... from The Economist

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Hopefully not. This is one of the reasons why I left Blighty...
I'm sure you must be joking! There are over 700 varieties of British Cheese, more than France.
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