Open Access

Tobacco Production in Switzerland

   | Jan 06, 2015


In Switzerland approximately 730 ha of tobacco are grown, mainly on small family farms. The main growing area is located in the French speaking part of the country, on altitudes ranging from 400 to 800 m above sea level. Approximately 93 % of the surface is planted with Burley and 7 % with Virginia. The cigarette manufacturers have to buy the whole crop of acceptable quality by law proportionally to their market share in Switzerland, in total approximately 1300-1500 tons per year. The buying organization, named SOTA (Societe cooperative pour l'achat du tabac indigene) has been created by the industry in 1930. It is responsible to buy and distribute the whole crop and finances a small research center with the aim to improve the quality. There is an agreement between the SOTA and the grower's organization FAPTA (Federation suisse des associations de planteurs de tabac) that limits the maximum surface to 730 ha. The price paid to the farmer is fixed by the government and is significantly higher than the world market price. The difference between the price paid to the farmer and the one paid by the industry is compensated by a specific fund which is under supervision of the custom and excise department. Because of several good crops, this system of subsidy became problematic. Therefore a new system of quota has been introduced for the 1997/1998 crop which limits the quantity of tobacco which can be delivered by each farmer.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
General Interest, Life Sciences, other, Physics