Seed World

The Impact of COVID-19 on the EU Seed Sector – Switzerland

Interview with Jürg Jost – Secretary General of the Switzerland Seed Association, 2 April 2020

European Seed (ES): How are you and your country doing under COVID-19?

Jürg Jost (JJ): We would like to inform you that all of us are doing fine and nobody has been infected with COVID-19 at work nor privately yet. The Swiss government imposed very strong policies. All schools and universities, restaurants, some shops and leisure parks are closed. Life is very restricted but right now we do not have a complete lockdown. These rules are fixed until April 19th. After that date the government will again decide how to go on.

ES: So, what about the impact of COVID-19 on the Swiss seed sector?

JJ: Our government in Switzerland has attached great importance to the agricultural production. This means that we e.g. in crop production (seeds, fertilizer, crop protection) have a system relevance and can therefore continue to work in case the level of danger is further increased.

ES: How is the progress for the coming growing season?

JJ: The seed trade is running; spring is well advanced, and the first maize and sunflowers were sown this week. We are dependent on imports and that was actually normal. Partly there were some logistics delays, but these could be solved. So far, the borders for the movement of goods are open. Many other important products, such as clover and grasses, our members have large quantities in stock.