Swiss food news
Zurich, Switzerland (GenevaLunch.com) – Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, Migros, will increase by one-third its purchases of Swiss Integrated Production grains for bread at the 2011 harvest, significantly increasing its use of near-organic grains. Integrated Production (IP, or PI in French) is a label that covers a set of very high standards followed by about 20,000 of Switzerland’s 60,000 farmers for part or all of their production. It is not as strict in terms of chemical use as organic farming, but farmers commit themselves to working closely with nature and to encouraging biodiversity by helping flora and fauna thrive.
Migros will increase its IP grains by 90,000 tons, using these for bread and bakery products made by its bakery arm, Jowa, and for flour sold in its food outlets. The decision should give a boost to the label TerreSuisse, jointly created by IP-Suisse, Migros and the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sembach.
TerreSuisse farmers, notes Migros, use no fungicides or insecticides, and they make a concerted effort to create spaces that encourage biodiversity: ponds for wild plants and wildlife, empty stretches in the middle of fields to encourage the threatened skylark to nest there, as well as hares, and fallow fields that encourage insects and cornflowers to flourish. They often heap stones into mounds that serve as shelters for lizards.