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Old 22.10.2017, 16:23
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The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/agricul...rland/43613212
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Old 22.10.2017, 16:44
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

I don't really care. I've subsidized dumber things with my taxes.
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Old 22.10.2017, 16:51
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

These subsidies preserve the unique - and beautiful - nature of the Swiss landscape (at least in the mountains).

I'm more than happy to contribute to that.
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Old 22.10.2017, 16:59
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

And even tho they provide us with our delicious food they still earn below average.

I'd rather pay extra tax to see the cows walking in front of my house and have a good piece of meat on the table, than to pay less tax and have some imported stuff.
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Old 22.10.2017, 18:26
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

Doesn't bother me in the least. I grew up in a farming community in the U.S. and none of the farmers were rich or much better off than the rest of us. They got up earlier, stayed up later sometimes, were out working in all weather, and tromped through a lot of cow shit. All things I am not willing to do.

Some years the weather ruined an entire season's crops, or an illness culled a large chunk of the herd. Many of the families faced bankruptcy and some didn't have offspring willing to take over the business as the parents became too old to manage it all. Some simply had to sell their land to become housing developments, or go in with other families to survive. A friend of mine still runs the family cattle ranch, and it is tough work.

I fully support small family farms over massive commercial conglomerates any day.
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Old 22.10.2017, 18:57
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

Most of them seem fairly reasonable based on farms being a unique sort of business, and society's desire for a particular type of small farm to retain the Swiss culture.

The only one I have real doubts about is the air pollution control one - I can understand grandfathering existing equipment, but not new stuff.

The family allowance seems a bit open-ended, but I guess Swiss farms tend to be a many-generations thing which this probably helps.

I've only really spoken to Swiss farmers who are also running mountain restaurants or working as a ski instructor / ski area employee in the winter; all of them seem to love being part of the land they grew up on, but say no way would they choose to the job if they didn't, it's just so much non-stop work.
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Old 22.10.2017, 19:26
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

I'd rather my taxes went to supporting working farmers than half of the (IMO specious) things they also pay for.

I live in a village rapidly changing from a working farming community to a soulless glitzy Zürich suburb. Not a change for the better, IMO. Where we used to have green fields and friendliness we now have a pox of concrete bunkers villas and Zurich Steuerfluchtlinge.

Such a shame - but given the tax derived from agricultural land vs building land I understand why the local Powere That Be are eager to look the other way as the farms are optioned off to developers.

I can still buy my eggs from the farmer behind my house, but likely not for long. He is only a tenant, the landowner is someone in Zurich who is just waiting for a zoning change and the gazillions that will follow.

Happy to support working farmers if that keeps the concrete box builders at bay a little longer.

Heck, I'd give anything to be able to buy and work a farm myself, continue the traditions. No subsidies needed or wanted, a good deal for my fellow taxpayers. Sadly, wrong passport. Even someone with the right passport is unlikely to be approved if you don't come from Swiss farming stock.

It will be a sad day when the last local farm is concreted over, but the writing is on the wall. Such a shame.
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Old 22.10.2017, 19:33
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

I live close to a couple of farms and buy my seasonal fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, bread, sometimes even meat and other meat specialties from there, not everyday but quite often.

I know how much work is there - it literally never ends especially if you keep animals. For reasons never known by me, this type of activities are always underestimated and looked down upon. But they produce our food...! I'm all for agricultural subsidies.


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Happy to support working farmers if that keeps the concrete box builders at bay a little longer.

Heck, I'd give anything to be able to buy and work a farm myself, continue the traditions. No subsidies needed or wanted, a good deal for my fellow taxpayers. Sadly, wrong passport. Even someone with the right passport is unlikely to be approved if you don't come from Swiss farming stock.

It will be a sad day when the last local farm is concreted over, but the writing is on the wall. Such a shame.
It started in my area too. I know there's a constant need for housing, but sometimes I wonder myself if we really need those huge apartments.

Last edited by greenmount; 22.10.2017 at 19:48.
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Old 22.10.2017, 22:19
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

The UK farming industry could learn a thing or two from the Swiss. The amount of UK farmers closing their doors because they cannot operate remotely viably with the supermarkets squeezing their profits to virtually nothing is scandalous.
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:00
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

It's extremely difficult being a farmer nowadays, especially with all the risks involved with the weather, new guidelines and falling prices. Some have managed to expand their business by implementing innovative ideas including bed and breakfasts.

Farmers are still the "traditional soul" of Switzerland and most people are happy to subsidise them.
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:10
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

So the best lobby group gets its money, which subsidizes both farmers and their products (and their exports as well), and they use this abundant money to use fertilizers and pesticides more than in surrounding countries because they can afford doing so, but cultivate "Heidi" image for the public, while there are many other working poors in Switzerland who don't have such a strong lobby, because they're less organized or have no right to vote.
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:14
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

I’d rather pay more and support local farmers through choice (which I do), rather than having the state enforce it on me though taxation.
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:14
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

I believe you've just opened up a can of worms there, Yacek.
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:32
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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So the best lobby group gets its money, which subsidizes both farmers and their products (and their exports as well), and they use this abundant money to use fertilizers and pesticides more than in surrounding countries because they can afford doing so, but cultivate "Heidi" image for the public, while there are many other working poors in Switzerland who don't have such a strong lobby, because they're less organized or have no right to vote.
Do the other working poor people provide cows to look at?

No?

Then bugger them!
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Old 23.10.2017, 14:49
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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I believe you've just opened up a can of worms there, Yacek.
put some pesticide in the can!
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Old 23.10.2017, 15:10
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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The UK farming industry could learn a thing or two from the Swiss. The amount of UK farmers closing their doors because they cannot operate remotely viably with the supermarkets squeezing their profits to virtually nothing is scandalous.
I read once that the efficiency of UK farmers means a glut of, say, milk so there is no competition as such in bidding for milk by a supermarkets

The article also said that in any other industry, over-production would mean a reallocation of capital and/or changing the end product etc. Except farmers, who just hold out their hands for subsidies.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just giving another viewpoint.

Isn't there another thread about the recent Swiss vote on "fair prices for farmers"? There is one about Coop and Migros profits: do they pay the Swiss farmers well for their produce?
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Old 23.10.2017, 15:29
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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Isn't there another thread about the recent Swiss vote on "fair prices for farmers"? There is one about Coop and Migros profits: do they pay the Swiss farmers well for their produce?
Well at least they sell their products. (they are obliged by law anyway) A huge step forward compared to other countries, where foreign retailers decide what to sell to the detriment of local producers. Way to go Switzerland.
I might not be fond of Migros or Coop (or others), but at least a part of the cash is going to the right place.

I, for one, prefer local products produced by local farmers when possible.
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Old 23.10.2017, 15:37
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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The article also said that in any other industry, over-production would mean a reallocation of capital and/or changing the end product etc. Except farmers, who just hold out their hands for subsidies.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong, just giving another viewpoint.
Is there a program here to distribute excess production to groups in need?

For instance, in the US, OH's family farmed for generations. A small farm, only a few hundred acres, much like a Swiss farm today. In years of higher yield than could be sold the government co-op guaranteed purchase of OH's grandfather's excess crop. The food was then distributed to families in need (via food banks) or to worthy organizations.

That way the farmer is paid for his whole crop, food didn't go to waste. At least that was the idea. There were always cases of mismanagement (or politics!) that left food rotting in warehouses. But when well run, these these programs did a lot of good all around.

One such group recieving the excess produce was the Girl Scouts. We ate a whole lotta cheese on those camping trips...

(An aside: Today many family farms have been swallowed up by Big Agra, so I do not like that mega businesses benefit by guaranteed income via these programs. And Big Agra has way too much influence, to the detriment of the farmers and the population. But I think I can live with even that if it would ensure that food gets to those in need. If it gets to those in need is, however, a question today... but that's another thread. Good idea when implemented correctly though.)


Is there a similar program to distribute excess production in Switzerland?
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Old 23.10.2017, 15:48
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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Is there a program here to distribute excess production to groups in need?

...
In the UK, I don't think so.

It doesn't solve the fact that farmers don't get paid for the excess (in effect) anyway
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Old 23.10.2017, 15:49
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Re: The privileges of being a farmer in Switzerland

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Well at least they sell their products. (they are obliged by law anyway) A huge step forward compared to other countries, where foreign retailers decide what to sell to the detriment of local producers. Way to go Switzerland.
I might not be fond of Migros or Coop (or others), but at least a part of the cash is going to the right place.

I, for one, prefer local products produced by local farmers when possible.
We use farm shops a lot too.
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