Strong Swiss franc hits cheese exports
Cheese exporters have been badly affected by the high value of the Swiss franc against the euro, and cheese makers are now asking the government to support the industry. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)
Swiss cheese exports have been suffering for a number of years because of the strong franc.
Producers have been relying on their quality label to appeal to European clients.
When the Swiss National Bank announced on January 15 that it was abandoning the minimum exchange rate of CHF 1.20 per euro, the value of the franc surged almost 40% against the euro.
This has made Swiss cheese so expensive for Europeans that they may baulk at paying even more for it.
Heinz Wälti, president of Emmentaler Switzerland, the branch umbrella organisation, is warning that pressure on producers will continue to increase and that wholesalers from the eurozone are likely to demand discounts.
The cheese exporters are now hoping the government will bail them out, but the economics minister says this will not be possible.
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