Coffee is no longer essential in Switzerland. The Swiss government, which has set strategic food reserves for decades to address any potential shortages, said Thursday it wants to remove coffee from its mandatory storage list, because it no longer considers it “a vital good.”
The Economic Supply of the Nation (AEP), the authority responsible for the management of the compulsory storage of food in Switzerland, “came to the conclusion that coffee was no longer a vital good” because it is “low caloric” and therefore does not “contribute to the nutritional intake required,” the government said in a statement.
In addition, the AEP regards as “low” the risk of the coffee supply, as plantations are spread over three continents and harvesting is possible throughout the year.
Also “compulsory storage of coffee, established for essentially psychological reasons, has lost its raison d’être,” according to the Swiss authorities.
In accordance with the procedure, the various parties interested in this decision (interest groups, companies…) are currently being consulted to see if the proposal is accepted. If this is the case, the decision will be effective December 1, told AFP a spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Economics, Evelyn Kobelt.
In Switzerland, coffee is a common consumer product, with an annual consumption of 9 kg of “green coffee” (unroasted) per capita, according to official statistics.
The Swiss authorities consider that stockpiling is a “crucial preventive measure” for the country, which is dependent on imports.
This strategic storage is based on cooperation between the state and private companies. The State sets the composition and the volume of reserve requirements, but it does not hold these stocks, constituted by private companies.
Currently, 15 companies hold compulsory stocks of coffee of around 15,300 tonnes (green coffee in bags). These reserves cover the normal needs of coffee for 3 months for the Swiss population.