BERN, SWITZERLAND – Switzerland has exported so far in 2012, a staggering 31,050 tons of cheese which represents an 8.9% increase compared to the first semester of 2010 (latest available statistics).
According to Switzerland Cheese Marketing AG (SCM) and TSM Trustee GmbH in Bern which published the results, this shows “consumers are willing to pay a fair price for high quality products.”
Neighboring European countries remain the largest importers of Swiss cheese acquiring an 87.1% of the exports. Germany is the largest importer with a special appetite for Appenzeller. Sells to Italy also went up. Italians seem to prefer Emmantaler AOC.
Although sales in most of Europe have been strong, sales to Spain and Portugal are receding and Swiss cheese exports to Canada and the US have fallen 6.9% (-34 tons), and 15.8% (-243 tons), respectively.
While the most popular exports were Emmentaler AOC, Le Gruyère AOC and Tête de Moine AOC, fresh cheeses such as Swiss-produced Mozzarella are strong sellers.
“If exports are a welcome development, the fact remains that the pressure of imports continues to increase,” says Switzerland Cheese Marketing in a statement. Imports increased 3.2% (786 tons) in the first half of 2012, reaching 25,525 tons.
The most popular imports were hard cheeses, followed by cream cheese and semi-hard cheeses mainly from Italy, France and Germany. These cheeses are mostly used by restaurants due to their cost effectiveness, says the organization.