The Swiss government introduced new rules Wednesday to protect products from the Alpine region. From the beginning of next year, the label "Alpine" can only be used for products that abide by the region's regulations.

"/> The Swiss government introduced new rules Wednesday to protect products from the Alpine region. From the beginning of next year, the label "Alpine" can only be used for products that abide by the region's regulations.

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FARMING

Federal Council moves to protect “Alpine” label

The Swiss government introduced new rules Wednesday to protect products from the Alpine region. From the beginning of next year, the label "Alpine" can only be used for products that abide by the region's regulations.

Once the new regulations come into force next January, the term “Alpine” can only be used to market dairy and meat products if they fulfil special conditions and have been approved by a certification office.

Terms that attempt to evade the rules, like “Alp Beef” or “Mountain Tea,” will also not be allowed, the Department of Economic Affairs declared.

The Federal Council has also introduced new regulations in response to the recent dioxin scandal and fears over irradiated food imported from Japan.

In the future, the department of agriculture will be able to demand a certificate to guarantee that seed, seedlings, fertilizer, pesticide and animal feed has not been polluted or irradiated.

The government also announced that Switzerland would fall in line with European Union regulations on feeding slops to pigs.

Since 2006, it has been illegal to feed pork slops to pigs in the EU. The Swiss government agreed to abide by the regulation in order to protect Swiss exports, but managed to negotiate a transition period so that the country’s pig farmers could adapt their production.

bk/The Local

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FOOD & DRINK

REVEALED: Which city has Switzerland’s cheapest beer?

Anyone looking for a cheap pint in Switzerland is likely to struggle no matter where they are, but there are still good deals to be had for a cold, frosty one.

REVEALED: Which city has Switzerland’s cheapest beer?

Some research carried out in Switzerland is more important to consumers than others.  

This one definitely fits under the ‘news you can use’ category.

A recent survey conducted by consumer website Hellosafe compared the price of a half a litre of beer in 29 cities in different cantons.

The prices come from 2022 and have incorporated recent spikes in cost for beer producers. 

READ MORE: Seven beers to try in Switzerland

Where is Switzerland’s cheapest beer? 

The study found that one of the cheapest pints, at 5.22 francs, can be had in Aarau, followed by Bern  (5.92).

While it is one of the world’s most expensive cities, a big mug of beer in Zurich costs “only”  6.96 francs, four cents less than in another relatively inexpensive location, the Valais capital of Sion.

Where is Switzerland’s most expensive pint of beer? 

Beer lovers in the west of Switzerland would be better off sticking to wine, with French-speaking Switzerland charging the most when it comes to beer anywhere in the country. 

The priciest half-litres are in Geneva (7.72 francs) and Lausanne (7.96).

Reader question: Can you drink in public in Switzerland?

Next on the list are Basel and Davos, which may appear to have very little in common with each other besides beer costing CHF7.03 per pint. 


What does the future hold? 

The study also looked ahead at how the war in Ukraine is likely to increase the cost of cereals used to manufacture beer, impacting the price of the end product.

Grain prices in Switzerland are expected to rise by 4 percent per tonne by the end of 2022, which will see price increases in several parts of the country. 

Accordingly, the price of a pint in Lausanne could increase by 32 cents and reach CHF 8.28. 

If Hellosafe’s estimates are correct, then the price of beer will increase the least in Olten, Langenthal, Chur and Arbon.

Beer in Switzerland

While Switzerland may be known internationally more for wine, beer has seen a strong surge in interest in recent years – particularly since the pandemic. 

Switzerland now boasts the highest density of breweries anywhere in Europe, with the Covid crisis a major factor in transforming the country into a beer hub. 

READ MORE: How the Covid crisis led to a boom in Swiss beer production

In 2020, 80 new breweries were established in Switzerland. 

Switzerland now has 1,212 breweries – which gives it a higher ratio of breweries to people than any of the other big brewing nations in Europe, including Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Belgium. 

Just ten years ago, Switzerland had only 246 breweries, while in 1990 there were only 32 breweries in the entire country, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung reports. 

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