STRAWBERRY PRODUCTION IN SWITZERLAND
Strawberry are cultivated all over the country with major production areas in the cantons Valais, Thurgau and Bern.
In the Valais (VS), valley of the river Rhone, there are 60 ha protected by polyethylene and fields at high elevation for late ripening.
In Thurgau (TG), along the lake of Constance, there are 47 ha of protected culture. In Bern (Be) and Zürich (ZH) cantons pick-your-own is common (Switzerland = 88 ha).
Different techniques are used to spread ripening season.
Harvest begins during the third week of May under tunnel and lasts until September/October by cultivating strawberries in the mountains and everbearing varieties (Table 1 and Figure 3).
Swiss strawberries are only sold on the fresh market. Processing industry can buy fruit on the world market.
The so-called "3-phases-systems" adopted in Switzerland gives a certain protection to inland production of fresh fruit against imports of fresh strawberries.
Phase 1: "phase of free imports" - period with no inland production; unlimited imports. Phase 2: "phase with fixed import quotas" - inland production with quantity insufficient to provide swiss market; limited imports. Phase 3: "phase of import stop" sufficient inland production; imports of products of the same kind of fruit are prohibited.
Imports are increasing enormously since years. Table 2 shows imports in relation to swiss inland production since 1980. About 70% of total strawberry consumption are imported fruit.
Processing industry isn't bound to the "3-phases-system". It can buy fruit on the world market with its own prices.
Main varieties in modern siwss strawberry production are bred in the Netherlands. Figure 4 shows the importance of the main varieties on the total acreage in 1988.